Respect for your spiritual teachers
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. ( Luke 6:40)
One thing that our current generation of Christian lacks is having deep respect for our spiritual teachers. I consider those who teach us the principles of the Christian faith as spiritual teachers even if they do not claim any such status. Some of them rather use the term ‘workers in the Lord’s vineyard’ which is fine enough for me.
Back in the early centuries of Christianity it was difficult to gain access to teachers of the faith. This was because the Roman Empire heavily persecuted the preachers of the Gospel. Persecution by death to be precise! Yet time and again there arose teachers who risked their lives to help other Christians learn the teachings of our faith.
We have a lot to thank our Lord Jesus for the past teachers of the faith. Augustine of Hippo defended the Christian faith from pagan critics. Athanasius of Alexandria preached against the heresy of the Arians. St. Irenaeus gave canonical status to the gospels of Luke, Matthew, Mark and John which are now part of the Bible. Sometimes the teachers made Bible reading easier, for instance the Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton who helped develop the concept of assigning the chapters and verses of the Bible for easier study.
Cut back to today’s world. Most of the teachings of our faith are available free on the internet and on TV as well. In some places you still get free Bibles and Christian literature without paying anything. Now some people equate ‘free’ with ‘low quality’. Yet these are the ones are among the first to complain if the teaching series is available by payment only. They have made their minds to blame a teacher of the faith if he gives out the teachings for free or at a cost. They will accuse such teachers of having hidden agendas. Double standards indeed!
People make fun of teachers who preach against silly divorces saying that these are still ‘stuck’ in the middle ages. But when these people themselves undergo a divorce they rush to these teachers to pray for ‘reconciliation’ with their spouses. And poor teacher simply forgives those who made fun of him and then helps the person facing the divorce issue. Now when the divorce is averted, what do such people do? They never apologize for making fun of the teacher but only keep hugging their reconciled spouse. Selfishness indeed when the only point of these people is their own happiness!
Then we have people who ridicule the preachers who remind us that Jesus gave us authority to cast out evils spirits. They will make jokes about such preachers though there are Bible verses to prove that we have authority to cast out demons. Then all of a sudden when their own kids get possessed and when medico-psychological help fails, they then sheepishly approach preachers who can exorcise. Again the preacher forgives them of their stupidity and simply goes on to help them out. Couldn’t have their read the Bible first before making fun of those who preach deliverance?
One of the people I hate the most are those who bully their preachers into preaching only what they want to hear. For instance, the people won’t put in donations if the preacher starts speaking about being a bright and responsible Christian at home, school and work. Yet if the preacher speaks loads of blessings without any responsibility then they will praise him to the clouds. Economic bullying in action, I’d say. While some people simply walk out on preachers who preach against wrong doing or having lack of faith in Jesus. They simply want to be validated about the state of sin they are living in. Surely such people will receive their reward from God for their disrespect.
One must always respect a teacher of the faith no matter how odd their methods seem. Even if you do not agree with them, you can speak politely to them. There’s always the Bible which you can reach for yourself to get the right idea on the Gospel topic that was preached to you. You still have your own choices to make because its your own soul that you are responsible for.
No longer a slave
As a believer in Christ you are no longer a slave to sin. To understand this, lets read John chapter 8 verses 31 to 35
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
You are called to be free, no longer a slave. Slavery to sin is the worst of all. Because this slavery continues in hell for all eternity. Only the Son of God can set you free from sin and death.
You are called to be with God forever as his child. Though it’s a great honor to be an angel of God it’s even a greater honor to be in truth a child of the Lord God.
Now let’s read Galatians chapter 4 verses 1 to 7
1I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 3but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Jesus redeemed you from the curse of the law so that you get adopted as a child of God. So never think of Christianity as following a set of laws. It’s about being a right relationship with God through Jesus. You need to believe in the Gospel.
Let’s read Romans chapter 8 verses 12 to 17
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
You are called to no longer live by the works of the flesh. But rather be led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will remind of you of the things of God. He bears witness that you are a child of God. Do not therefore worry about your sins but repent of them. Be free not for evil but for the Lord Jesus who loves you so much.
Is Christianity a religion or relation?
I’ve noticed a lot of rants and opinions online saying that Christianity is not a religion rather its a relation with Jesus Christ. Now I agree that Christianity is about being in a relation with Jesus. No doubt on that but I maintain that Christianity is a religion.
People must not jump on this bandwagon of ‘Christianity is not a religion’ because it simply confuses people of other religions and also Christians too. Also in certain countries you must mention your religion for official purposes. Like on your birth or marriage certificate you need to mention your religion. So if you tell them Christianity is what you follow but it’s not a religion, then they will give you strange looks and say you have gone insane.
Also this ‘Christianity is not a religion’ statement must be subject to the test of the scriptures.
1 John 4:1-3 Dear friends, don’t believe every spirit. Test the spirits to see if they are from God because many false prophets have gone into the world. This is how you know if a spirit comes from God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come as a human is from God, and every spirit that doesn’t confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is now already in the world.
And it’s not just the above verses, it must be consistent with the entire Bible. I’ve noticed that the ‘Christianity is not a religion’ stuff is mainly directed at legalistic individuals but the tone that is used is often very rude. It’s good to be against legalism and ritualistic attitudes in the Christian faith. However in the fight against bad traditions we must not lose out on our heritage. By this I mean we must never contradict the Bible while going against legalism.
Someone may ask where does the Bible say that Christianity is a religion. There are verses that do. Here we go:
James 1:26-27 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The above verses are definitely not about Judaism which emphasizes on animal sacrifice. Neither are they about any other religion except the Christian faith. Here the religion of Christianity is not defined by the usual things that are associated with traditions but rather how people have self control and love God our Father and watch out for those in need. It even includes living a holy life. That’s the Christian religion!
Psalm 1 (The two ways of life)
Let’s read Psalm 1 which speaks of the two ways of life that are available to mankind. Here we go:
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The above Psalm has great meaning. It speaks of the way of righteousness and the way of wickedness. It speaks how blessed are those who do not take wicked counsel. There are many people who give wicked advice like against attending the church service and being obedient to God and so on they ramble on. These are not be entertained by the righteous and must be rejected.
This also speaks about how blessed are those who don’t stand in the way of sinners nor in the seat of scoffers. Standing or sitting here is that a person is being still with them so that he can listen to their nonsense. There are people who are so sinful that they won’t keep their sinfulness to themselves but try to pass their wicked opinions to others who don’t sin or even more so those who don’t sin like them.
A person determined to please God must have delight in the law of the Lord and must keep it in highest regard. Now this law for Christians is not necessarily the law of Moses and definitely is not legalism. Because Jesus has already fulfilled the law of Moses. We have something greater, which is to love God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength and also to love one’s neighbor as ourselves. In other words, we must follow the Gospel. It wouldn’t be possible to follow all of the laws of Moses because there is much animal sacrifice in it. We must remember that the perfect sacrifice of Jesus shedding his blood on the sacrifice is the greatest sacrifice of the New covenant and this does away with the need for animal sacrifice.
Now, the righteous are like a tree planted by streams of water. You may be living in a desert or in the prairies but that is only your physical surrounding where you are based. Spiritually it’s much different. For Jesus gives to all who ask of him the living waters so that you are spiritually satisfied for eternal life.
John 4:10,14 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”..but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 7:37-39 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Isaiah 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
No wonder the righteous prosper being filled with the living waters that Jesus gives. I can speak a lot on true prosperity but let me tell you this. True prosperity is to be in a relation with Jesus in this life and in the next. True prosperity is to be in heaven after you pass away from this earth.
A measure of how successful you were in life is what happens of it when you are at the end of your life on earth. A wicked person may have achieved a lot in life. They may have made a lot of money and received a lot of fame in the process. But what happens of it when they die. This all turns to no use because receiving their punishment of this in hell due to their sins they don’t get out. I mean they never get any relief. Their achievements simply testify against them in the fires of hell. Like the chaff that is driven away by the wind so is their prosperity.
The Lord won’t let the wicked and the righteous have the same fate after death. This is where the difference becomes very clear. God keeps track of those who are righteous in Jesus. God is personally interested in each and every believer. He also is very aware of the sins of those who don’t believe in Jesus. He is a loving Father but remains a just God. Happy are those who choose to be righteous in Jesus Christ for the love of God. Amen.
Who was Saint Patrick?
Saint Patrick’s Day is not about leprechaun’s and the color green and drinking beer and pretending to be Irish. It’s about the man – Saint Patrick. He was actually not Irish but rather an Englishman. Born in about 380 A.D. (approx) in Britain and kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and sent off to Ireland as a slave. Ireland in those days was a country that followed Druid like pagan religions. His coming to Ireland, would in turn of time change that.
Now after 17 years as a slave, St. Patrick escaped Ireland and found his way home and then trained to become a priest. He took courage in the Lord Jesus Christ and returned to Ireland as a missionary which was the very nation that enslaved him. Patrick became a Bishop in Ireland who converted most of Ireland to Christianity. In fact he also preached the gospel to his slave masters who too gave their life to Jesus. The true meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day is celebration of Saint Patrick and his life. March 17th, the day he died, is when we remember him and give glory to the Lord Jesus.
Confidence in your walk of faith
When 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.”
Yoga is something that Christians should avoid
Yoga is a Satanic Spiritual Practice BEWARE !!! ex Yoga Instructor Speaks Out !!!
Yoga is something that Christians should avoid, why? Just check the above video to know more.
Yoga is an integral part of the Hindu religion. There is a saying: “There is no Yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without Yoga.”
Use the below link for the details:
Also after you’ve gone through the above link you’d realize that Yoga is an ordinance of their religion. This bring me to the next verse:
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (Leviticus 18:3)
We are not to follow the ordinances of other religions. Yoga is not a good exercise therefore. You can always try Pilates or calisthenics which are much more better and not influenced by other religions.
We are to focus on the fruits of Christianity and there is a lot yet to learn from it. One thing I can see clearly; Yoga isn’t a fruit of Christianity. The Bible gives it’s own fruits and cures. It’s better that you have a look at them for the better part of your life. So save your time and life for the Lord who is the Good Shepherd Jesus.