Praise be to the Lord God who provides the seed of His word and the faith to work on it. By intercession of Christ Jesus our Saviour we keep ever growing in spirit and knowledge. O Holy Spirit lead us into all truth and keep us away from lethargy and false counsel.
We are called to grow in the Lord God. There are no exceptions to this. No need to worry if others don’t grow as much as you do.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)
Be like Samuel the Prophet who didn’t ignore the Word of God but kept it in all earnest. Samuel’s duty was to grow in the knowledge that God gave him. He didn’t focus on those who didn’t but kept to his task. (Prophet Samuel later in life went on to annoint David as the king of Israel – refer to 1 Samuel 16:1-13 for this). He never gave up his spiritual growth though his mentor Eli’s sons grew in wickedness (Click here if you want to know a lesson about Eli).
And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.(1 Samuel 3:19-20)
You might not know the future but there may be people who one day will need your help. It might be your own family members who might need counsel on life changing decisions. You may have to cast out evil spirits from the possessed people who turn to you. Or you just have to be a good Samaritan to those in danger. But God knows best what good you are to do. What matters then is whether you decide to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. Because that’s the very thing which will help you with doing all the good works that God has set forth before you. By this you can give glory to God and be a good neighbor to those in need.
Suppose you feel upset that others are not growing in the Lord God, then do not despair. You can intercede for them. And wherever possible even directly help them grow. But never be too proud of your growth and so end up displeasing God. Also take care not to slow down on your growth in Spirit. Because neither will it help others grow nor will it give glory to God.
Christ be with you!
● Moses would say, “Lord, if You don’t go with us or before us, we are not going anywhere.”
● Abraham would say, “The Lord will provide.”
● Jacob would say, “I won’t let go of You unless You bless me.”
● Joshua would say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
● Samuel would say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”
● Nehemiah would say, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
● David would say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” _and “This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”_
● Solomon would say, “Trust in the Lord, oh my soul, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.”
● Isaiah would say, “Arise and shine for my Glory has come.” and “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”
● Jeremiah would say, “The Lord has plans to prosper me and not to harm or fail me.”
● Jabez would say, “Oh, that you may bless me and enlarge my territory.”
● Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would say, “We will not bow down to any image but will serve the Lord.”
● Ezekiel would say, “Any dry bones in my life, live again.”
Choose your daily statement of faith. Meditate on it! Say it every morning…
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. (Mark 10:46-52)
Among the various good things Jesus is known as, he is also the Son of David. In the case of the Lord Jesus who was about to leave Jericho there was a blind beggar who needed the healing touch of the Lord. Would the Saviour of the world pass him by? Not at all, because Jesus heard his cry. If Bartimaeus would have chosen to fear the crowd he wouldn’t have called Jesus as the Son of David. Despite pressure from the crowd who tried to force him to stop crying out to the Lord, this man called for mercy from Jesus. Finally, Jesus said, “Call him” and the crowd now encouraged the blind man to come closer to Christ. Then the Lord asked him what does he want to be done for him. The blind man knew what is the most important thing for him which is nothing less than the recovery of his sight. And that is what he asked for.
Jesus then told him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And indeed the blind man was able to see. Praise be to God!
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. (Psalm 146:8)
Bartimaeus had no option. He knew it’s going to be Son of David that day who could heal him or nobody else. When he referred to Jesus as the Son of David it was a great thing to say in those times. Because the Romans hated any competitor to the throne of Israel. Also for the Pharisees it would mean someone they must not refuse to give heed to in matters of the Law of Moses. While for the general Jews it would mean he was not just their King but also their Messiah. So calling Jesus rightfully as the Son of David had serious implications and yet Bartimaeus choose faith and not fear. He kept crying out to Jesus and was not ashamed of the Lord.
I pray that more people who are in need of healing, stop getting bothered by the naysayers, and reach out to Christ in prayer. I pray those who desire healing, become even bolder that Bartimaeus. Let them be bold against their past and simply believe in the Lord Jesus. Amen.
Verses for reflection:
- Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)
- You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.” (Isaiah 42:7-9)
- And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18)
The prophecy about Jesus coming to Jerusalem on a donkey:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
The above prophecy about Jesus fulfilled:
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:1-11)
When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, he didn’t come as a rich man. He came upon a donkey as prophesied for he was the descendant of King David. Even the way his disciples got the donkey is a miracle in itself. At this point even though the religious elders hated him, the people still gave him a grand welcome. They even said, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Hosanna is a word used to express adoration, praise, or joy (mostly in Jewish and Christian liturgies or worship). And truly Christ was worthy to receive this praise. Being the Son of God that he is, Jesus entered Jerusalem rather humbly in obedience to the will of God. Even today Christ is meek and humble of heart and his burden light.
Here are a few questions for your own reflection keeping in mind the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem:
- Do you still believe God to be faithful to his promises and his word? Yes, you will if you have read that Bible and understood that God’s been fulfilling them all through the ages and continues to do so.
- Are you enamored by mere physical appearances or do you look for the truth in the midst of it all? Indeed, you will when you decide to discern things in a way consistent with the principles of the Lord God.
- When celebrating Christ in your life, will you fear others and not praise him? Surely not when you care more for the desires of God than the desires of men.
- Will you only welcome him but forget and abandon him later in the days to come? Certainly never if you hold close the fact that salvation comes from Christ alone.
- Do you adore Christ just because of the crowd or because you know who he is? You’d worship him more personally when you read about him in the Scriptures and fall in love with him.
When you have Jesus Christ you have God our Father with you through Christ. Yes God is with you as promised in the scriptures. It was prophesied about Jesus being born of a virgin and its a sign from God himself.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Even the New Testament confirms this. Let’s read:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-23)
Though we normally don’t call Jesus as Immanuel (or Emmanuel, depending on the Bible version you use), our Lord Jesus is indeed the Immanuel of prophecy. I heard a few Christian songs and sermons which refer to Jesus as Immanuel. Now, there are many prophecies that attribute various titles to Jesus. However the titles are not his name, so sometimes title are not mentioned. To this effect, though Jesus is the Prince of Peace he was not actually named the Prince of Peace as that’s his title. In our prayers we generally say ‘Jesus let your Father’s will be done in our lives’ and rarely do we say ‘Prince of Peace let your Father’s will be done in our lives’. Suppose by God’s good graces you are ordained as the ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ your name doesn’t become the Duke of Edinburgh unless you at birth were named so. (The current Duke of Edinburgh is Prince Phillip, I think)
The union of Jesus with God our Father was strong even during the time of Jesus on earth. This is because he came not on his own authority but because our God and Father in heaven had sent him here to do his holy will. No wonder he carried the presence of the Lord God our Father with him. No wonder he said “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. (John 14:6-11)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5,14)
There are people who express their emotions to their loved ones. People send letters, tweets and pictures to show it. Some even sing for the people they love. How much more must we express our love and gratitude to the Lord God who is worthy of being loved and adored forever?
Singing to the Lord God is not just something that was done in the New Testament. Singing to the Lord God was done even in Old Testament times.
Moses and the Jews sang to the Lord after being delivered from the oppressive rule of the Pharaoh of Egypt.
Exodus 15:1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.
When the Jews empowered by God won against the king of Canaan, then their judges Deborah and Barak too sang unto the Lord.
Judges 5:3 Hear, O you kings; give ear, O you princes; I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.
In fact the books of Psalms in the Old Testament has a lot of songs to God. Even king David who wrote the Psalms loved singing praises to Holy One.
Psalm 100:1-5 A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 71:23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Now I would strongly recommend that you sing Bible based songs.
The purpose of singing to the Lord is to glorify him and not us. This is where the Bible comes very handy in discerning true and pure worship songs which exalt God alone. With all due respect, we must totally avoid any praise and worship songs that are NOT true praise and worship songs. Let me make this real to you, any songs that portray any race, gender or church ministries in a hyped out way are invalid songs. Any songs that sing about great achievers or great works without mention of God’s hand in it are unbiblical.
Sing in whatever style you can that gives him honor.
I sing to Jesus in different styles such a classical, rock and pop. I never think one style of singing is greater than the other when it comes to praising the Lord Jesus. What matters most is not whether you have a great voice but in fact its your intentions towards God. You need to sing with faith and sing with courage. If you could get a musical instrument while singing to Christ it would be better for its a great enhancement to your worship of God.
Worship at Church not just in prayers but songs too.
In church there are certain times dedicated to singing praises unto the Lord. Make good use of such times to praise God joyfully. Don’t bother if the person next to you in church is singing off tune. This is not a time to get distracted, say a quick prayer in your mind to get patience and then continue singing. Keep it between you and the Lord so that you don’t get distracted.
Here are a few worship songs that you can sing to God:
You can download worship songs for free at : https://www.weareworship.com/
Scriptures on singing that you can reflect on:
2 Chronicles 7:6 The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the Lord that King David had made for giving thanks to the Lord—for his steadfast love endures forever—whenever David offered praises by their ministry; opposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood.
Psalm 68:32-35 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!
Psalm 71:23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Psalm 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Corinthians 14:15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation
Revelation 14:3 And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.