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Prayers leading to Christmas – 17

O God the creator of the heavens and the earth, I pray make me strong to resist evil counsel. Just like the wise men called the Magi, who were able to say no to Herod’s wicked scheme towards Jesus the Messiah, let me also say no, be it in action or words towards the Herod’s of this age. Let me be given the wisdom and strength, to know whom not to give into, and also continue to resist their plans of deception and violence. I also ask you to guide me by the Holy Spirit, to watch my steps in the days of evil, and so refrain from doing wrong and causing others unjust harm. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Prayer points for 2017

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As we get into the New Year 2017, let us put our trust not in the economy nor in vanity of the world but rather totally trust the Lord God. Never love vain entertainment nor the false promises of the Evil One. Put your faith in the Lord Jesus alone for your deliverance.  Acknowledge that all your prosperity is for the glory of God and it his goodness towards you that it may increase as per his holy will. The salvation that you are offered is not limited to only yourself but for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Now lets read the below verses:

I love the Lord, because he has heard

    my voice and my pleas for mercy.

Because he inclined his ear to me,

    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me;

    the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

    I suffered distress and anguish.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:

    “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;

    our God is merciful.

The Lord preserves the simple;

    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your rest;

    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,

    my eyes from tears,

    my feet from stumbling;

I will walk before the Lord

    in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:1-9)

Now for the prayer points for the year 2017, pray each of them as many times as you wish till you feel it coming from your heart. Pray for yourself and pray for others especially your family. Pray for your state or nation and for the whole world. But as you ask, have gratitude towards the Lord God for sending his only begotten son Jesus on earth to obtain salvation for you by his crucifixion, death and triumphant resurrection. All your prayers in Christ Jesus are to be done in faith, humility and hope. Desire the glory of God as you pray. Remember him as the Savior of the World. Put in your heart and mind that the Lord God can save all those who call on his name in faith. With all this said, here are the prayer points that you can pray for the year 2017:

Personal prayer points

  • O Lord I pray that I be truly holy as you O Lord of heaven and earth are holy.
  • Keep me victorious by the precious blood of Jesus Christ over all the temptations in the world that the Evil One might have in mind for me.
  • Preserve me fully in body, mind, soul and spirit from all the attacks of the Devil, I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • Bless my friends that they come to the knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ and grow in spirit and in truth.
  • Give me your peace O Lord Jesus so I can be calm in the world of confusion and deception so that I walk the path of truth safely for your name sake. Amen.
  • I pray that I be able to plan my actions be it financial, spiritual, emotional etc with due diligence for the glory of God.
  • I ask that I be guided by the Holy Spirit in all truth which the Lord God has ordained for me, so that I grow to love and serve him everyday in a better way. Amen.

 

Family prayer points

  • In the name of Jesus I bless my parents and elders with peace, joy and salvation in the Lord God.
  • And also that the younger ones grow in the Holy Spirit.
  • Help me to encourage my family to love the Lord God more and more.
  • I pray for my family members who still are rebellious or unsteady towards the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Change their hearts and mind and give them ears that are open to the preaching of the Gospel. Let their hearts glow in the love of the Lord.
  • I pray that there is unity among all my family members in justice, honor and love.
  • I reject and revoke all curses over each of my family members including the younger ones, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Local and worldwide church prayer points

  • I pray that all in the Church locally and abroad, honor the Lord God and serve him only.
  • That the preaching of the Gospel is carried out by more members of the church instead of a select few.
  • I pray that each place on earth, where Jesus Christ is glorified receives more stability and all of those church members have true salvation in the Lord God.
  • I pray in the name of Jesus that all those who work in the vineyard of the Lord God are prudent in their conduct towards others and to themselves. I ask that they be genuine examples of everything the Gospel preaches.
  • I also pray that all those Christians who are suffering persecution on account of their faith in Jesus Christ, receive their vindication and consolation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
  • I pray for those in Church but who have not yet understood the love of God for them are saved from the lies of the Evil One and accept the Gospel of the Lord Jesus in all obedience. Amen.
  • In the name of Jesus I pray all heretics and also the imitators of Judas, Jezebel and Herod in the church are exposed and their evil works of deception be challenged and halted by the true servants of the Lord God. Amen.

 

National prayer points

  • I pray the every leader of my nation (or state) that I live in ends up doing only the will of God just like how the Emperor Cyrus let the Jews rebuild the Temple of the Lord God (refer Isaiah 44:28).
  • That my nation tackles it’s debt and the debts of the people of the land with due diligence. Expose and cast out all those corrupt government officials who desire to progress at the cost of the citizens, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
  • I pray that my nation does not promote laziness but rather generates jobs that have respect and fair wages for all the unemployed in the nation.
  • I pray that the laws of the land do not become a staging point for evil. And so I pray that every law that infringes upon the Law of the Lord God is overturned and repealed this year. Amen.
  • Forgive my nation of all its sins and let the workers of righteousness preach the Gospel to every creature so that like the people of Nineveh they all humble themselves and seek your face O Lord God.

 

International prayer points

  • I pray for peace of Jerusalem which is the heart of Israel and for the whole land of Israel. I pray that every treaty that is in truth evil against Israel gets exposed and cancelled in the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • I pray that every illegal invasion in each continent of the world comes to a halt, especially the invasion by terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Also, I ask that the Lord’s agents of justice act more boldly againsts all the evil doers in these lands. Amen.
  • I pray that the all people especially the children and innocent of world are safe from landmines, radiation, chemical warfare and all type of terrorism, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • I pray that the worlds resistance to the preaching of the Gospel is nullified more and more till the Gospel is preached to all the nations, in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
  • I pray that the rulers of the earth be humbled by the Lord God if they plot against the people of the Lord God. I ask that the angels of God thwart the plans of the Evil One who has been working through them, so that God’s children who are those who believe in Jesus Christ dwell securely in the land. Amen.

 

I wish you dear reader a very blessed year in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for me as I pray for you.

God be with you!

 

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Villains and Heroes of the Crucifixion

All praise be unto to God for sending Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Thanks be to Jesus for being the willing victim and dying for us on the cross. Thanks be to the Holy Spirit for raising Jesus from the dead. Amen and amen.

Villains of the Crucifixion

Judas Iscariot:

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16)

And as they were eating,he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I,Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matthew 26:21-25)

Caiaphas the high priest along with various scribes and elders:

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”(Matthew 26:3-5)

Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.  What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matthew 26:57-66)

Herod Antipas:

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.  And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23:6-12)

Pontius Pilate the governor:

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor… Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:1-2 and 11-14)

Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:20-26)

Never forget the misdeeds of the main crook who is none other the hellish serpent the Devil.

Satan (also called the Devil):

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Jesus (John 13:2)

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. (Luke 22:3-6)

Heroes of the Crucifixion

Simon of Cyrene:

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. (Matthew 27:31-32)

Mary the mother of Jesus:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. (John 13:2)

Mary Magdalene and the mother’s of the Apostles:

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. (Matthew 27:55-56)

The mourning crowd:

And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. (Luke 23:27)

The repentant criminal(thief):

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him,“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

Joseph of Arimathea:

Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. (Luke 23:50-53)

The list of heroes of the crucifixion is never complete without the mention of the following:

Jesus Christ the Savior of the world:

[Jesus said;] I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:14-18)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

God the father of Jesus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23-24)

The Holy Spirit:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)

Anti Narcissist series – Part two (A few men who were narcissist’s in the Bible)

real narcissist

The Bible mentions many narcissists and also their how they got punished. So I’ll mention four such men below:

  1. Gehazi
  2. Nebuchadnezzar
  3. Judas Iscariot
  4. Herod

 

1) Gehazi the servant of the prophet Elisha

Elisha had chosen Gehazi as his servant. Many a times Gehazi must have first hand experienced miracles of God by the hands of Elisha. It’s an honourable thing to work with a true prophet of God. I’d say Gehazi initially was not a bad person. If we read  2 Kings 4:8-37 you’ll notice that he was entrusted by Elisha to even help out in the case of the dead son of the Shunnamite woman. Though he tried to revive the child and couldn’t succeed, Elisha never rebuked him. Instead Elisha simply by faith in the Lord revived the woman’s son. Gehazi still had potential in him for a great future.

So where did it go wrong for Gehazi?

It’s when Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian that Gehazi acted wrong. If you read 2 Kings 5:20-27, you’d notice a change in attitude of Gehazi. Through self-exaltation and deception he acted the way a narcissist acts and misused the healed Naamans gratitude towards Elisha for healing him. He pursued Naaman after Elisha said no to any gift and lied in the name of Elisha to Naaman as asked for gifts for prophets. And so he obtained two talents of silver in two bags and also two changes of clothes. Now when confronted by Elisha, he will still more impudent and lied about what he had been doing. So, then Elisha the prophet of God, pronounced upon him a serious punishment and here it goes :

“Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow. (2 Kings 5:26-27)

The very leprosy that Naaman once had now got passed over to Gehazi. A bad way to ruin one’s legacy of being the prophet’s servant!

 

2) Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian emperor

A pagan emperor who built his empire on violence and bloodshed. He too had an abundantly clear experience of the power and deliverance which comes from the Lord God. You can refer to Daniel Chapter 3 and you’d notice that the emperor first raised up an image of a false god made of gold, then his sly Chaldean citizens accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (the three holy colleagues of the prophet Daniel) of wrong doing. Nebuchadnezzar in his furious rage assigned them to the fires all bound up to prevent their escape. Yet in the fires a fourth person appeared and prevented them from getting burnt. Even Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged this one as from God in saying “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:25). He soon enough made a declaration all through his empire that in favour of the Lord God and the three men who stood up for God. Seemed liked he almost had a conversion.

So where it go wrong for Nebuchadnezzar?

Now even after Daniel helped Nebuchadnezzar in getting to know the meaning of the Second Dream the emperor received (refer to Daniel Chapter 4) there came big time humiliation for him. He was already warned that “Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27).

Yet after a year of receiving the warning he still spoke pompously about himself on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. And this there was no Daniel speaking, instead it as a voice from heaven which spoke to Nebuchadnezzar “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” (Daniel 4: 31-32)

So if you see, Nebuchadnezzar was through a dream warned by the Lord God about his pride. Yet despite getting a prophetic confirmation later he rebelled. Then he was punished by the Lord. He did repent and came back to his senses. The following verses confirm this:

Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.  At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,  for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4: 33-37)

A narcissist at times if he or she is willing to acknowledge his pride and then humble themselves, can actually get out narcissism for good!

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3) Judas Iscariot the vile betrayer of Jesus Christ

Judas Iscariot was a narcissist too. In spite of personally bearing witness to the Lord Jesus performing miracles, he didn’t have a clean heart. It may seem remarkable that when most of Jesus’ disciples left the Lord, Judas still continued with Jesus. However, before anyone says that he did it out of faith, I’d like to point that he was stealing from the Lord’s treasury and that’s one thing that kept him going on with Jesus. The following scriptures confirm this:

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” (John 12:1-7)

When did it go even more wrong with Judas?

Now just because he was not harmed due to stealing, he got even more obsessed with his own base desires. It went to be so evil in his soul that Judas for a few silver coins betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ. This betrayal is the worst ever betrayal till date and for the record he betrayed Jesus unto death. He did experienced grief but never really repented. As a result he committed suicide by hanging himself and later his body burst forth too (refer Matthew 27: 1-10 and also Acts 1:15-20) .

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:21)

Even Jesus said that it was better for Judas Iscariot to have not to be born at all. The following scriptures confirm this:

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”  Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matthew 26:20-25)

A horrible way for once a person who was called an Apostle of Jesus to down to the grave and to hell!

 

4) Herod the impious king

Herod was a king who was way too full of himself. The only thing he was truly great was in actually was in wickedness. He persecuted the Church and even got the Apostle James killed!

About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.  He killed James the brother of John with the sword,  and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.  (Acts 12:1-3)

Herod was a manipulative narcissist who would go to any extent to please the crowd so as to get in favour with them. So he got Peter arrested and kept him in prison because Peter proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, the Church didn’t lose hope. The people of the Church prayed very earnestly unto the Lord God. And the Lord sent his angel to rescue Peter. Despite being guarded by two soldiers who even kept watch as the Apostle slept the rescue was still successful. God’s angel got rid of Peter’s chain and led him to a safe place (Refer Acts 12:5-19). Yet this didn’t humble Herod but rather drove him into rage due to which he got the prison sentries killed. He had no regard for the Lord at all.

What finally nailed Herod in the end?

His most evil deed was yet to come. He began manipulating the people of Tyre and Sidon by his anger. And they depended on his country for their food they had assembled to meet him and ask for peace. Instead like a vile narcissist he gave such a speech that he got them to shout out that he is a god. This provoked the Lord God with burning rage that the angel of the Lord struck him and as a result Herod died of worms

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.  But the word of God increased and multiplied.  (Acts 12:20-24)

Herod was never a good man from the beginning nor was he a good man at his end. He tried to please others only for his selfish agendas. Not giving God the glory cost him his very life!

 

bible warning

I shall soon write about the first narcissist ever to exist (hint: the Fallen one). However for now, from the above four examples we can learn that:

  1. It’s possible for a narcissist to repent.
  2. Not every narcissist might repent.
  3. The actions of narcissists can be harmful and even ungodly.
  4. Narcissistic people may even lie in the face of facts.
  5. Narcissist’s can hide their true inner motives by covering them up with good motives publicly.
  6. God can bring down the most proud narcissist to his or her rightful end.
  7. It’s possible for narcissist’s to experience miracles of God but remain unchanged.
  8. God can at times warn narcissists too either directly or through others.
  9. As in the example of Peter there is no need to deliberately get back to a narcissist who intends you harm.
  10. The Church though prayer and faith in the Lord God can actually defeat the plans of narcissist’s especially those one’s who persecute the Church and try to hinder the preach of the Gospel.

Anti Narcissist series – Part one (Narcissism defined)

narciss

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3)

To avoid a narcissist in your life, you must first know what a narcissist is and take your actions. That’s the difference between a prudent one and those are simpletons or gullible people.

At times, I encounter to people who face issues on being in love with a narcissist. Their sufferings are odd but what’s more odd is that these people can’t seem to keep away from their narcissist fiancé whom they intend to marry. They allow themselves to be the proverbial doormat to their oppressive fiancé. Some of these despite my warnings to cease and desist from continuing with such vile ‘sweethearts’ went on with the relationship, lost a lot of their emotional and physical health. And then they came back to me saying that the fiancé now is not interested in marrying them and how to win back their fiancé. I’d then say to them, good riddance for you, now please go and thank God for this, but the people whose hearts were broken by their narcissist ‘loved’ one were still in disbelief that the break up happened. I late understood this weird attachment as a soul tie.

Narcissism is not limited to only a couple who intend to marry. It could be a vile boss, a despotic dictator, traitors, serial stalkers etc. They don’t just seem to care about whom they have to hurt, just so that it inflates their self image to the clouds.

For those who wonder as to what a Narcissist is, here are two most appropriate definitions:

1. Excessive preoccupation with or admiration of oneself.
2. A personality disorder characterized by self-preoccupation, need for admiration, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. (source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/narcissist)

Now for those who still don’t get my point, maybe due to fact they could be with only genuinely nice people, let me make it real to you; bad people do exist. About a few years ago, I encountered once such Narcissist. We due to some reason had to be in the same vehicle. And she kept yelling at her fiancé over the phone. Now all of a sudden she was speaking kindly to him. Initially I was not one bit interested in what she was saying, I was more bothered as to why she became polite without dropping a hint. She then told her fiance that, for two minutes they are to be off the phone and he must not call her and only after the actual time is over to call her back. This is the bit that provoked my interest. She held her mobile phone in her hand and also kept looking at her watch to see if two minutes passed by.

Her boyfriend or fiancé I suppose, called her a few seconds before the stipulated two minutes were done with. Immediately, this vile woman unloaded the worst possible insults to her boyfriend and kept asking him to apologize for calling before the two minutes were over. Even after the boyfriend once said sorry to her, she kept demanding that he keep saying sorry over and over again. Finally, she said the only sorry that she will accept is if she given a ‘treat’ of shopping for her whatever she wishes, provided the boyfriend pays the bills.

I was shocked at such behaviour. A gentleman in the same vehicle, once the girl got off, remarked as to once the girl and her fiancé get married it’s going to be an emotional riot in their marriage. I later pondered on the situation and realized that the girl was indeed a narcissist. Suppose if her boyfriend could think of how his actual future would be with her, he could either tactfully correct her or just leave her. Both ways it would set up a non oppressive future for him with her.

I believe that since the Bible warns of narcissism it didn’t do so only for the sake of our reading. It’s something we must pay attention to and also act on.

Does the Bible speak of narcissism?

– Yes it does and elaborates on narcissism very clearly. Here’s what it says:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

Name a few in the Bible are known to be narcissists?

– I’ll mention four such men. Here we go:

  1. Gehazi
  2. Nebuchadnezzar
  3. Judas Iscariot
  4. Herod

God himself got these four punished in various forms and as per the degree of their sin. At times he did it through his servants on earth, at times by the angels, at times by the narcissists own actions and at times even one on one. (I’ll cover these four in detail in next post of these series) If the Lord knows how to recognize narcissists, shouldn’t we keep guard against such types? Yes, and like I mentioned we need to know what as narcissist is and then take decisive action.

Just because someone looks neat and beautiful doesn’t mean that you should say he or she is a nice person. Understand what their words and actions mean, and you’d know the kind of person they truly are.

Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:24)

Christ be with you!

Villains and Heroes of the Crucifixion

All praise be unto to God for sending Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Thanks be to Jesus for being the willing victim and dying for us on the cross. Thanks be to the Holy Spirit for raising Jesus from the dead. Amen and amen.

Villains of the Crucifixion

Judas Iscariot:

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16)

And as they were eating,he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I,Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matthew 26:21-25)

Caiaphas the high priest along with various scribes and elders:

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”(Matthew 26:3-5)

Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.  What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matthew 26:57-66)

Herod Antipas:

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.  And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23:6-12)

Pontius Pilate the governor:

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor… Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:1-2 and 11-14)

Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:20-26)

Never forget the misdeeds of the main crook who is none other the hellish serpent the Devil.

Satan (also called the Devil):

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Jesus (John 13:2)

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. (Luke 22:3-6)

Heroes of the Crucifixion

Simon of Cyrene:

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. (Matthew 27:31-32)

Mary the mother of Jesus:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. (John 13:2)

Mary Magdalene and the mother’s of the Apostles:

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. (Matthew 27:55-56)

The mourning crowd:

And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. (Luke 23:27)

The repentant criminal(thief):

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him,“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

Joseph of Arimathea:

Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. (Luke 23:50-53)

The list of heroes of the crucifixion is never complete without the mention of the following:

Jesus Christ the Savior of the world:

[Jesus said;] I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:14-18)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

God the father of Jesus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23-24)

The Holy Spirit:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)

In prosperity be humble before God

King St Louis of FranceIn prosperity, give thanks to God with humility and fear lest by pride you abuse God’s benefits and so offend him (King St. Louis of France)

In adversity, it’s easy to be humble before God as you know that your ability cannot save you. You therefore come in prayer and in deep respect before God for your breakthrough or miracle. One of the reasons why non Christians get miracles when they pray to Jesus Christ is because they know that they have expended the last straw and have nothing left to save them. So acknowledging their helplessness, they usually pray to Jesus saying they don’t have anything to deserve a miracle but come humble appealing to his mercy.

Now contrast this with people who weren’t the best of moral men and had prosperity. How due to their pride in themselves they didn’t give God the honor that he deserves and by this they later fell into great trouble. Let me give you some examples of three kings mentioned in the Bible where their wrong attitude towards God became their undoing.

King Solomon

King Solomon of Israel was abundantly rich. He had loads and loads of gold and precious stones. Yet in his defiant and ungodly ambition to be great, he multiplied horses which was forbidden for a king of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:16 says that, “The king must not build up a large stable of horses for himself or send his people to Egypt to buy horses, for the LORD has told you, ‘You must never return to Egypt.’ Solomon however didn’t get punished for this sin. So taking wrong advantage of this, he multiplied wives, yes and not just getting more one wife.  But that’s not the end of Solomon’s sin. By the evil influence of his wives, he built a multitude of worship centers for false gods of his wives, all over the land of Israel, in defiance of the Lord God’s commandments which is against the worship of false gods.

You can read all of 1 Kings 11 to get details on this. So in the end God judged Solomon and raised multiple adversaries against him. These were Hadad the Edomite and Rezon the son of Eliada who led their armies against Israel during this times of Solomon. That was not all, the Lord divided the kingdom of Israel, such that Jeroboam the son of Nebat got 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel for himself. The glory of Solomon was therefore diminished greatly due to his own pride in his own wisdom instead of respecting what God had told him in the Holy Scriptures.

Sennacherib the king of Assyria

There was a wicked king who was called Sennacherib king of Assyria, who achieved great victories against many kingdoms. His armed forces brutally killed many people in their evil wars. Then he turned his attention towards Israel. The Jews were dismayed when Sennacherib blasphemed against the Lord God of Israel by sending a message to the people “Who among all the gods of those nations that my fathers devoted to destruction was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!” (2 Chronicles 32:14-15)

Not only Sennacherib but also his servants gave such wicked messages to the Israelite’s. This ultimately led to the great downfall of Sennacherib which you can read as mentioned below:

Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword. (2 Chronicles 32:20-21)

The impious Herod

Herod was a king who was prosperous and wicked. He didn’t give true honor to God (read Acts 12:20-24 to get an idea about this). So an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

Remember that whether you are a king or not you still need to be humble.Just so that no one mistakes that humility is only for kings and leaders to follow, let’s remember the following words of Jesus our Lord:

  • For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:11)
  • Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)

Let get of your pride and be humble

rid of prideDo not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:1-2)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

A person who claims to love the Lord God must not revel in pride. You might be the greatest guitarist of your city. You may be the best ballet dancer across continents. You might be the most gifted in physics and with due hard work stand a chance to win the Nobel prize too. Yet if you have pride you are missing out what true love is.

You must never get hyped up by the good things you do but commend all of it to God. Give glory to the Lord for every great thing you have achieved. You may have made all the right moves to be a great achiever or rich person but it is God due to which you still live and breathe.

Remember how the impious Herod was so filled with pride that received divine punishment for his sins when he was still alive. Let’s read Acts 12:20-24 which says that:

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. But the word of God increased and multiplied.

A few scripture verses to remind you to get of your pride and be humble:

  • Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. (Proverbs 3:34)
  • Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
  • Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
  • Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:5-8,10)

Thanks for reading. Christ be with you!

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