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Do not wait for a special call to prayer when you know there are people in trouble

When you hear, see or read of people in trouble please do not get into legalism at any point. For many good works have been prevented from ever happening only because people preferred to live legalistically. The Holy Scriptures tell us clearly; do not quench the Spirit. So never let legalism prevent you from doing what is holy and acceptable to the Lord God. One such good work is to pray for people who are in trouble or danger.

“If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism.” ( J. Vernon McGee)

If you know of an impending hurricane or blizzard coming to destroy people in any place, then pray for their safety right away. You are not sinning by praying for their welfare. Never get into a mindset in which you will pray only if you get a special call to prayer at church by the preacher.

I’m not talking about bypassing your leaders in Christ. I’m talking about what you are to do in faith whether your leaders tell you or not. You don’t need a special nudge by your pastor to brush your teeth regularly, you’d know its right to do it anyway. You don’t need a call out to feed your children daily, you know its your duty anyway. You don’t need to be begged by your boss to come to office everyday, you know that going by the rules is expected anyway. Hope you understand that the same logic applies to interceding for others in need.

On another note, there are some people who need a special announcement to pray because they are clueless on what to pray at all. Such people too don’t need to be stuck that loop forever. For the Lord God is not impressed by lofty words and shouts without faith, but rather by prayers said with a humble and contrite heart. You can pray like this; “O Lord Jesus save these people from all harm and danger for the sake of your Holy Name.  Amen”. Or you are free to pray in a simple way but do remember to pray in faith and purity at all times.

Christ be with you as you pray for those in need of healing and deliverance in the land of the living!

 

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Keeping Secrets (Part 3) – Keep it secret when…

When tempted to reveal a secret out of pride,
Then instead in the Word of God abide.
When holding the confidence of others in honor,
Then never let faithlessness be in your corner.

When God tells you to refrain,
Then telling your secret is insane.
When secrets can cause strife,
Then have regard for your life.

When the Holy Spirit wants you to be tactful,
Then with your words be thoughtful.
When hidden things can cause sin,
Then except for the Lord hold them all within.

When Jesus’ word in the Gospel does remind,
Then let not your good deeds anyone find.
When you know you shouldn’t gossip bad,
Then don’t be a selfish lass or lad.

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Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)

 

Related Articles:

Keeping Secrets (Part 1)

Keeping Secrets (Part 2) – Keeping quiet where you have to

Keeping Secrets (Part 2) – Keeping quiet where you have to

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People say that they have nothing to hide but yet they may have things on them which may endanger their good standing before their spouse, relatives and even the society they live in. Let me make it real to you; a politician is considered the best leader of the state for many years. But all of a sudden a secret which only his former aide knows comes out. The politician was once a drug addict in his teenage years and had to be  rehabilitated but eventually overcame it all. However the politician’s former worker out of a evil heart bent on making money would tell about the drug addiction part but not mention that how the politician overcame his habit. Now there could be huge controversy in the media and political world, leading to the politician losing the confidence of his people and eventually having to resign and retire as well. However this could be averted by either of the two ways:

  • The politician should have not trusted his former aide with his secret.
  • The aide should have kept quiet.

I’d like to focus now on the part of keeping quiet. Imagine if you will, things didn’t work out well for the aide and instead he got sued for over a million and even landed in jail for not keeping privacy. Things like these too happen.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)

An employee giving out secrets of a banking corporation in terms of their hidden plan to enter the equities market, can result in big time losses to that corporation or undue advantage to its competitors. If such an employee is found out, you can only imagine the lawsuits and jail time such a person would be getting. And also, there would hardly be any other bank that would then try to ever employ such a traitor of an employee. But what if in the first place, such a corrupt employee would never be given access to the banking corporation’s expansion plans? There are certain banks which give information to only select staff members about their tactical future plan and not to everyone in their employ. Then obviously there would very less a chance of information leaking to the public and competitors.

Imagine if an army general while being drunk at a party tells of the location of the nuclear warhead codes to anyone who gives him a drink. And then person who gave him the drink turns out to be a spy of an evil nation. Then there could be loss of life to the nation or innocents in other world regions, thanks to one incompetent general. No matter how much the general pleads, the army judge won’t give him a chance at normal life. And obviously, the army will do everything in its power to punish the general. Retirement benefits are out of the question of such secret revealing general.

This is the point, I’d like to make; keep quiet on your secrets when you have to keep quiet on them.

Let me make it real to you. Remember the incident in the Bible about Samson and Delilah (Refer the entire chapter of Judges Chapter 16) and you’d understand how the great warrior Samson who been given tremendous strength by the Lord God to defend Israel lost it all. And how did he lose it? The woman Delilah (as traitorous like Judas) tricked Samson by means of much fake love and concern into giving out the secret of his power. And the consequences were very nasty for Samson. Let’s read the following:

15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.

Now if you read the entire chapter of Judges 16, you’d know that Samson already lost his internal discipline due to getting into illegal affairs with women of perverse nature, Delilah being one of them. What makes Delilah more vicious is that she faked her love for him at the bidding of the Philistines only to wait for the opportunity to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. You will need internal discipline to ensure that you ward off any repeated attempts by vile people to away your secrets. Yes, be ready for repeated attempts if you have to.

There might be some people who might say why don’t you see how the Lord God still blessed Samson when he repented and due to that Samson took down with him at his death even more than those whom he had killed during his life? I’d say to them, I do not overlook the mercy of God in such a case. For the Lord God is even merciful to the very end. And by the Lord did Samson destroy the enemies of God’s people even at the last hour of his life. But here’s what I have to say; do not put your Lord your God to test by citing the example of Samson in giving away secrets that should never be given at all. Remember dear reader, that Samson’s eyes were gouged out. Eyes! A pin prick can cause much pain to most people, how much more the horrendous removing of eyes.

Now the Bible does not speak of Delilah’s repentance. See and make note, there are some people who never repent for the damage they cause by misusing secrets. Don’t think that Delilah went to heaven, unless the Bible clearly says so. There are people so hardened of heart that they just do not care if they made wrong use of your secret or of anyone else.

If Samson were given the option to turn back time after all that happened to him (unfortunately who even gets this option) I think he would first off never be friends with the wrong women and never have given off his God given secret of strength to anyone! Don’t want to hide this but there are many in this world who wish they could only turn back time to prevent themselves giving out their secrets which may have caused them great shame, vast disrepute and even major financial losses. They won’t be able to turn back time by themselves. But at least if they then decide to be wiser and call upon the name of the Lord God they would stand a chance to live in faith and honor.

Now that you know this, please avoid giving out your secrets when you do not have to. Some secrets in fact must never be given out (to be covered in a later post). And trust in the Lord God and do not put him to the test.

Christ be with you!

Keeping Secrets (Part 1)

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A secret is like money, it can be used wisely or misused wickedly. There are secrets which (ironically) should not be kept as secrets while there are secrets which can and must be kept secret. The people of God need to know how to discern between both such types of secrets. This will be covered in detail in series of ‘Keeping Secrets’ posts which I’m writing up. However for now I share a few good reasons for keeping secrets. This basically comes from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6. So here we go:

 

1) Keep secret your good deeds of charity so that you don’t seek pride nor fame in your acts which causes you to lose your reward from the Lord God.

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4)

 

2) Keep secret your prayer life in a such a way that you pray like how the Lord God wants you to pray without being a self seeking hypocrite but rather exalt the name of God alone. This will ensure your reward from the Lord God.

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

“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:5-14)

 

3) Keep secret your fasting so that you don’t get undue praise by people and so miss out on your reward from your Heavenly Father the Lord God.

16 “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

The three reasons above are good enough to consider keeping secrets that are meant not to be paraded before people so that you indulge in self glory and so lose your reward from your Father in heaven who is none but the Lord God. I hope this make you realize the importance of keeping secrets. Keep yourself open to the will and counsel of the Lord God manifest in the Bible so that you learn to keep secrets wisely.

Christ be with you!

Christians should avoid laziness in these four key areas of life

Every Christian should consider the Biblical call to avoid laziness and overcome it.  Now laziness is not the same thing as resting after a hard days work. Laziness is rather idleness and the quality of being unwilling to work or use effort and energy. For some unwitting people a holiday means a time to be lazy and avoid all work including house work, while others just carry their work (via a laptop or smartphone) together with them. Now this doesn’t mean each Christian ought to avoid holidays or be a workaholic who works until he or she is completely drained out. That would be too extreme, isn’t it?

The key to a balanced Christian life would be to live a life consistent with the principles of the Bible.  Now there are four areas of life where a Christian can and must avoid laziness, which are as follows:

1. The Spiritual life.

2. The Emotional life.

3. The Physical life.

4. The Financial life.

 

I’ll explain what each of them mean and what can be done to avoid laziness in them but first let’s get to know a few Bible verses about laziness. Here’s the first one:

How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)

 

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Plus here are a few more Bible verses about laziness to consider:

* A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)

* Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)

* The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)

 

From the above verses you’d notice that laziness can bring in eventual poverty, hunger and lack. At the same time diligence can make you rich. What would you prefer? For those who want to not be in poverty, hunger and lack which come due to lack of action in the right direction, there’s where the teachings of the Bible come to use. I’ll now explain the four key areas in detail:-

 

1. The Spiritual life

This is the most important area of life a man, woman or child could ever have. Whatever you do in your present spiritual life can have dramatic consequences in the after life. The problem is that some people are very busy in all areas of their life except that of the spirit. They neglect their prayers unto God, forget to give thanks to the Lord, and even avoid doing good works. The usual excuse is that they are too busy or don’t have time. But whatever be the reason, if you be lazy in your spiritual life then do not expect a good commendation from the Lord God. A few verses to reflect and act upon:

1. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)

2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)

3. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)

4. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17

 

2. The Emotional life

Your emotional life is the next most important area. Many people make life changing decisions based on their impulses instead of wisdom. This causes them a lot of hardship later on while it may be possible they might enjoy themselves temporarily. Because people are too lazy to cultivate and safeguard their emotions they easily break in the face of adversity. The people of God are called to be vigilant and wise instead. It’s wise to know your current emotional state towards yourself and the Lord God and even your fellow human beings and animals and so on. This can give you the opportunity to either groom or correct your emotions. A few verses to ponder and work upon:

1. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

2. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

3. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

4. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

 

3. The Physical life

There are people who are very good in their spiritual and emotional life but are lacking in their physical life. Then you hear that such people are finding difficulty in walking or running or climbing and so on. I wish they work on their physical frame as well. So what is the physical life I speak of? It’s basically the physical well-being of the body in terms of nutrition and exercise. While I do agree that it’s given to man to die once and then comes the resurrection of the just (and the unjust for those who die in their sin) it does not mean we neglect our physical bodies in the mean time. The Bible never tells us to neglect our body once we get saved, in fact we are told that we who believe in Christ Jesus are nothing less than the temple of the Holy Spirit. Read the following Bible verses and use them to your benefit:

1. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own  (1 Corinthians 6:19)

2. For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)

3. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might (Proverbs 24:5)

4. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong (Proverbs 31:17)

 

4. The Financial life

The area of finance is something that people give way too much importance to. However the areas of spirit, emotions and physical life should not be neglected while working on the area of finance. Some get into debt because they sleep or laze around instead of working when it’s the time to work. There are others who awake enough to earn their living but asleep enough to not check their overspending or even getting into debts that they can easily avoid. As a result there is a lot of strain in terms of money in their life which affects their families too. So don’t love money at all but instead be diligent in earning it and saving it and only spend it wisely. A few verses in this area that you can act upon:

1. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5)

2. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23)

3. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)

4. But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:26-30)

Remember the wisdom, commandments and the great deeds of God

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You most probably might be familiar with the Bible verse about God’s people getting destroyed for lack of knowledge. Now this comes in Hosea 4:6 but that is not there entire verse. The full verse is given below:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

This verse clearly says that the people of God get destroyed due to lack of knowledge and it shows where this lack of knowledge comes from. Now, I totally agree that if one never read nor heard of the Lord God and his wisdom and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ his Son, then such a person lacks knowledge in spirit. However, coming to the above mentioned verse, it means that due to the people of God rejecting the knowledge which comes from God they enter the path of destruction. And this is not the only thing the people do wrong. I mean, they  forget the law of God, which leads to God’s judgement on them and their children.

What I’m trying to say is that don’t just read the Word of God, but make sure you do not reject it. Because when you choose to accept it, your chances become better for remembering the wisdom which the Holy Spirit has inspired all through the Scriptures.

Let me make it real to you; If a pilot suddenly in mid flight says he forgot the route to Canberra to Oregon, wouldn’t the passengers in the aircraft panic? If a soldier in the middle of the battle says he forgot how to reload his rifle, would the enemy ceasefire for him till he learns it for sure?

Then, even in the realm of spiritual things there are things, bad things which happen to those of God’s people who don’t make a commitment to remember all the instructions the Lord wants them to remember. For instance, there are people who attend church but never teach their children about not stealing. Suddenly, the children steal at school and get caught and so then their parents are called for by the school authorities to their shame. Next, instead of accepting the fact they didn’t teach their young one’s not to steal they blame God for ‘letting this thing happen to my family’. What a vile little concept of justice they have! For when they try to find fault with God they end up not respecting him as they should.

When the Bible clearly says that the people of God are to teach their children to fear the Lord God and follow his commandments, they cherry pick the things they want to follow and skip the part about exhorting their young ones to live in a holy manner at all times. And when their children are in trouble due to stealing, these very people have the audacity to blame the Lord! “Pathetic”, is what I’d call their actions.

Don’t follow the path of ignorance which only leads to trouble. If read the Bible and hear the Gospel preached, why not make it a point to remember the Word of God? This will ensure that when you live your life you never forget to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Bible verses for reflection:

* “Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children— how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)

* then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:12)

* “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,  (Deuteronomy 8:11)

* Remember His marvellous works that He hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth; (1 Chronicles 16:12)

* Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. (Luke 8:18)

* The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. (Psalm 37:31)

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

* My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. (Proverbs 4:20)

* For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:17-18)

* Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:1-4)

* Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (Revelation 3:3)

 

Christ be with you!

Good works, Bad works and Grace

Your good works don’t earn you into Heaven, but your bad works CAN disqualify you, if not repented of. From Scripture we know that grace comes to those who repent, and God’s love comes to those who are surrendered to Him (the cross). Teaching people that Grace can come by other means than repentance is irresponsible, and it’s a dangerous doctrine to tell others that God’s love is not dependant on surrendering to Him. (quote by Robert Brownell)

 

Grace

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)

Watch out for your intentions

All praise and adoration unto the Lord God and to Christ Jesus his only begotten Son. Keep us O Lord from all wrong thoughts and intentions in everything that we do. Lead by the Holy Spirit into all truth. Amen.

12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-13)

One must take care that one’s motivations are always pure before the Lord. All vanity and pride must cast away from your way of thinking. Be pure in thought, words and deeds always.

Wrongful thoughts of the heart lead to wrongful actions. 

14 And Jesus called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy,slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)

Good works must be accompanied by good intentions.

It could be that you and another person are doing the same thing and yet only one stands justified before God. You see a blind child trying to cross the road and you help him out of pity. Then, we have the other person, who too sees a blind child also trying to cross the road but helps him only to gain the admiration of fellow street walkers. The average person on the street would like that you both help the blind kids out there. However, the Lord God knows the human heart and its secret intentions. The person who had no pity but only wanted fame out of this good act had done in essence what’s called as dead work, spiritual dead work in the eyes of God.

You’d be rewarded for your act of kindnesses towards the blind kid but the person who desired selfish fame won’t be rewarded by God. As to when you’ll receive your reward, it could be any time as per God’s will. Even if you might remember a past good deed that you did with good intentions which is not yet rewarded, do not feel low as God will surely reward you for that on the Day of Judgement.

He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)

Being truly spiritually sensitive to the needs and situations of others

All praise and glory to the Lord God who sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin, hell and death. Thanks be unto Him who loved us even when we were still sinners. We pray that the Holy Spirit guides us and leads us into all truth. Grant that we in the example of Christ our Lord, be truly sensitive to the needs and situations of others. All this for the glory of God. Amen.

In the Holy Scriptures we come to know of instances when the servants and prophets of God gave spiritual hope to others in trouble. This is shown in both the Old and New Testaments. A person who believes in the Lord God must be ready to be attentive to those in suffering and pain or in trouble. We are to this without compromising on our belief in the teachings of the Bible nor falling prey to tricksters.

The example of Eli the priest of God at Shiloh

Eli and Hannah at Shiloh

Eli and Hannah at Shiloh

Hannah was barren and so didn’t have any children. She faced a lot of ridicule and humiliation from others. So when she prayed to the Lord God at the place of worship at Shiloh she was deep anguish and desperation. Eli initially thought she was drunk but on questioning her found that her pain was strong. So he said to her “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him” and then we read in 1 Samuel Chapter 1 that ‘And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord” ‘. There would be no prophet Samuel born unless Eli blessed Hannah in the name of the Lord God.

Eli and the boy Samuel

Eli and the boy Samuel

This was not the only time that Eli did good. We read in 1 Samuel 3 as to how Eli helped the child Samuel hear the voice of the Lord God which then helped Samuel eventually realize his calling from the Lord God to be his prophet unto the people of Israel. Again, there was no way Samuel would know he is to be God’s prophet unless Eli helped him to be attentive to the Lord God.

The example of the prophet Elijah and Widow of Zarephath

Elijah raises the widow's son

Elijah raises the widow’s son

17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (1 Kings 17:17-24)

If the prophet Elijah would have refused to pray for the dead son, then the widow of Zarephath would live in despair. But in truth, he had compassion on them and God heard his voice and the child came back to life again.

The example of the Apostles Peter and John with the Beggar at the temple gate

Peter_and_John_at_the_Beautiful_Gate

Peter and John with the Beggar at the Temple Gate

1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10)

Though they didn’t have silver nor gold, the Apostles Peter and John had something precious. They had faith in the name of Jesus Christ. And by this faith, did Peter make the crippled beggar walk normally. They too acted with trust in the Lord so that they can bless this beggar.

What about your example in life?

From all the above examples you see one thing in common, the prophets, priests and apostles were spiritually sensitive to the needs and situations of others. They didn’t dwell on the ‘I will only pray’ approach to help others in trouble. They gave counsel, preached deliverance, gave healing and raised the dead besides interceding for others. Do not get into the stupidity of ‘prayer only’ when you see someone who needs rescue from danger be it hunger, sickness, poverty.

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (James 2:14-23)

Do not say that you don’t have any opportunity nor the time to care for others. If anyone insists on saying he doesn’t have time and opportunities to be spiritually sensitive to the needs of others, then he might as well add that he doesn’t have the desire and will power for that as well.

When you read the newspapers, do you read about crimes or someone in suffering due to grave illness? If yes, then do you then pray about such things? Or do you switch to the sports and entertainment pages which are at time full of the vain acts of vain people taking bribes and changing their spouses every few months? Do you pray against acts of unjust violence across the world? Or do you enjoy watching movies that glorify murder and robbery?

Suppose if you know of a relative or friend in need of a job, do you too start searching suitable jobs for them? Or do you spend time gossiping about them? If your church announces a time of prayer and fasting for a preacher who’s gone missing after entering into a nation hostile to the Gospel, do you actually care to do what is told? Or do you want to go to some amusement park which coincides with the time of intercession?

Not everyone reading this can pray and heal others instantly or gradually. Not everyone can raise the dead. But then does anything in the Bible say that you are not to ask for such gifts from Christ our Lord? If not, then do ask and ask in faith, hope and love till you receive. Don’t lose heart but pray. I’ve seen people getting healed after I pray for them and I give the whole credit to the Lord God for his mercy and power. I still am praying for the power to raise the dead. God only knows when I shall receive it but I will keep asking him in faith or expect some better gift for his glory alone.

In the Christian faith many people have certain gifts from God in the supernatural such as healing, deliverance and casting out demons. While some are yet to receive them. You might not have supernatural powers manifest as yet, but you do have the Word of God. Then if anyone needs scriptural counsel, are you willing to help out to whatever level you have learnt so far? Or are you suddenly after years of church going and Bible study, are going to say you don’t know the Bible? Even if that is your reality, I don’t judge you but encourage to get reading and studying the Bible with more sincerity that you ever had.

Resolve that you will be more spiritually sensitive to help others all for the glory of God. Pray that you won’t be discouraged by the ungrateful but will continue to fight the good fight against evil in the name of Jesus. Ask that the Holy Spirit leads you do all this in safety and without being deceived by anyone, and God will surely look at your faith and answer you in his time and way. Sincerity is the key in all this.

Christ be with you.

Do great things for the Lord Jesus

O believer in Christ hear this loud,
Leave behind vanity, do not be proud.
Focus on things for God that matter,
Let not in odd things your mind scatter.

Strive to enter by the road that is narrow,
Worth are you more than any sparrow.
Open the door of your heart for sure,
So that God’s word in you does endure.

Heal those in affliction and despair,
Give them divine grace beyond compare.
Pray for those in need, pain and tears,
Rescue those tormented by evil and fears.

God’s spirit will guide you in truth strong,
Hold onto your faith and don’t do wrong.
Be an example noble and not wild,
Live holy for you’re now God’s child.

Visit orphans and widows in their affliction,
Give them respite and hope with true conviction.
Pray for those in prison and those mistreated,
Be as if in their place you are seated.

Provide for your relatives, especially of your household,
By this do not give faithlessness in you a stronghold.
Preach the Gospel to all and without any guile,
Let your testimony unto Christ be worthwhile.

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Scripture references:

  • I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)
  • Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. (Proverbs 4:26)
  • Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14)
  • Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)
  • What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14)
  • Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)
  • Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:3)
  • But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
  • Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.(Ephesians 5:15-16)
  • For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.(2 Corinthians 2:17)
  • For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

 

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