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8:22 AM   [31 Jul 2009 | Friday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 130

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 130

I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." (Mark 14:9)

The woman about whom this was said may not have believed this herself when Jesus said it, but it has been proved true. As Jesus said, many a time she has been the topic of discussion all over the world as it is in our devotional today.

The story went in this manner:While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly. "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. (Mark 14:3-8)

She, in fact was expressing her love for this man who was the Savior of the world. It was an act of adoration. Notice, there were no words spoken between Jesus and her. Her faith in Jesus was being demonstrated in a very subtle manner.

What about our love for Jesus? Is it being demonstrated in a manner wherein the Lord is pleased?
The question that we have to ask ourselves is this:What's the motive behind all that we do for the Lord? Is it for personal glory or does everything ultimately lead to total glorification of the Lord?

Jesus knows how much we love him even though others may have no idea at all of how near/ how far we are to the Lord. Nothing is hidden from him.

Does the value of our actions equal to what this unknown woman did to Jesus? If yes, then what we have done and are doing has much worth in the Lord's eyes. It will be like a sweet smelling sacrifice in the eyes of the Lord. Even though you may be unknown while living here on earth, one day, Jesus will testify about you in the presence of the Father and the angels. Praise the Lord.
Dr.Johnson Cherian M.D.PhD.
All my literature & art work are free for non-commercial use on blogs/webpages.
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Mood: content
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7:22 AM   [30 Jul 2009 | Thursday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 129

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 129

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? (Luke 18:7)

Do you feel God will keep putting you off all the time? Do you feel that your prayers are not going to be answered? Now, wait a moment. Read the above promise.
God says he will answer you because he is a just God.

The situation that you are facing now has been faced by many believers who cried out in their distresses to the Lord. Here are a few testimonies and pleas:
I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. (Psalm 6:6)
My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" (Psalm 42:3)
Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll - are they not in your record? (Psalm 56:8)

The good news of course is that:
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. (Psalm 126:5)

God says he will bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night.

When that happens, you can join in with the psalmist and say:
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:7-9)

Mood: awake
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7:27 AM   [29 Jul 2009 | Wednesday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 128

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 128

They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." (Revelation 17:14)

The above is a prophecy regarding a future war between the Antichrist and his allies against Jesus. As John writes victory is sure because Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Jesus is always the victor.
Satan thought he was winning a great victory when he got some men inspired by him to crucify Jesus. Alas, that was his greatest mistake.
The Bible says,
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

When satan thought Jesus was losing while being crucified, he himself actually was being crushed. The prophecy of Genesis Ch.3 was being fulfilled.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15)

Regarding the Antichrist who will be satan's chief weapon in the Tribulation period, the Bible says,
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

Finally will come the doom of satan as is outlined in Revelation Ch. 20.
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Praise God. Jesus is always the victor, now and forever. If you are a believer, here's a promise for you from Jesus himself:
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

Mood: content
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7:22 AM   [28 Jul 2009 | Tuesday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 127

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 127

"For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. (Isaiah 54:7)

Abandoned by all. Abandoned by God too. Whatever be the cause. It must have been a terrible experience. You must have wished to die but that too didn't happen. The pain and the gall. Job experienced it in his life. He lamented:
"Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say. Would he oppose me with great power? No, he would not press charges against me. There an upright man could present his case before him, and I would be delivered forever from my judge. "But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. (Job 23:2-10)

Experiencing the horrible torments in life, Job felt that God had abandoned him. Job wanted to argue with God. He wanted to know what God would answer him. The only problem was that he couldn't find God, neither in the east or in the west, nor in the north or in the south.

But God had not abandoned Job. He was always near; watching.
Are you in a desperate situation these days? Perhaps you feel like God has abandoned you. Take heart. God says, ""For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. (Isaiah 54:7)

Israel felt abandoned by God because they were punished for their sins. They despaired. But God restored them in his time. God will restore you too. Be strong and courageous. God bless.

Mood: cheerful
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8:46 AM   [27 Jul 2009 | Monday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 126

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 126

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. (Genesis 8:20, 21)

God's promise of not to destroy all living creatures again has stood the test of time and has been true to this day.
One family of 8 survived the flood because God found one man to be righteous in that generation. The Bible says, "Noah walked with God."

When everyone around is going astray don't take that as a clue that everything is lost. The Lord's eyes are on them whose hearts are committed to him.

The prophet Elijah thought that he was the only righteous man in all Israel. In his self righteous attitude he told God twice the following things:
"I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." (1 Kings 19:10)

God corrected him by telling him that:
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (1 Kings 19:18)

Perhaps you may think that you are the only one left whose doctrines are all right. Good for you, but God has seen many more hearts that are living for him though their doctrines may not be perfect.

Come to think of it, all the 7 people in the ark besides Noah perhaps were not righteous as him, yet God did not forsake them. Your spouse or children or parents may not be as spiritual as you are, yet God doesn't condemn them. So have a heart that can accomodate those who are of the faith, but not as strong as you are.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)

Praise the Lord.

Mood: content
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5:46 AM   [26 Jul 2009 | Sunday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 125

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 125

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1, 2)

The people of this world consider the rich and the famous as blessed. But that is not true blessedness. If your transgressions are forgiven and your sins are covered, you are truly blessed. A person in whom God does not find any deceit is truly blessed.

Look at Nathanael. Nathanael is another name for Barthelomew, one of Jesus' 12 disciples.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." (John 1:47, 48)

How great if Jesus can say that about each one of us. Jesus plainly said that he did not see any deceit in this man. How wonderful. Nathanael was stunned. How could this man who was seeing him for the first time declare this? Jesus told him that he had seen him meditating on God's Word sitting in the shade of the fig tree.

God sees and knows everything about us. He knows exactly how much guile there is in each one of us. We cannot hide anything from him.
Look at this verse.
The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. (2 Kings 17:9)

Secretly...and that too against the Lord...How foolish. They were only deceiving themselves. Let it not be so in our lives and may the Lord help each one of us to be without deceit in our spirit. That will bring us a state of true blessedness. Praise the Lord.

Mood: content
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7:42 AM   [25 Jul 2009 | Saturday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 124

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 124

'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty." (Haggai 2:9)

Though all believer's are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ and his kingdom, some are called to the ministry. The 5 fold ministry as detailed in Ephesians Ch. 4 is this:
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11, 12)

So what's your calling? And what are you doing about it?

Among the people who returned from the Babylonian exile were Joshua the high priest, Zerubabel the governor and the prophet Haggai..
The Israelites and the above mentioned leaders set about building their own houses after coming back from Babylon. They ignored building the temple of the Lord. Then the Lord spoke through Haggai the prophet that they should build the temple first.

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, (Haggai 1:12, 14)

Are you going about your own business ignoring the Lord's calling upon your life? Give God precedence and it will bring about a great change in your life. You will not suffer what the Israelites who came back from the exile suffered. This was what God had to tell them:
You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." (Haggai 1:6)

When they obeyed the voice of the Lord and started building the temple of the Lord, this was the promise that God gave them,
'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty." (Haggai 2:9)

Zerubbabel, Joshua & Haggai obeyed God and did the Lord's bidding. Won't you?

Mood: cheerful
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7:01 AM   [24 Jul 2009 | Friday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 123

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 123

Don't you know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? (2 Chronicles 13:5)

Holding on to the promises of God. That is of greatest importance in our lives. This chapter from the Bible concerns a war between Israel and Judah. Though they were one kingdom at the start, because of Solomon's disobedience, God partitioned the kingdom later on and different kings ruled Israel and Judah.

Here in this chapter, Abijah, grandson of Solomon is king of Judah and Jeroboam is king of Israel. Abijah and Jeroboam are at war. Jeroboam has an army of 8 lac soldiers and Abijah 4 lacs.

Despite the great difference in the strengths of the army, Abijah holds on to the promises of God and abides by the Law of Moses. Jeroboam meanwhile has instituted his own worship and priests.

Listen to what Abijah tells Jeroboam,
"And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David's descendants. You are indeed a vast army and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods.
But didn't you drive out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams may become a priest of what are not gods. "As for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God. But you have forsaken him. God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. Men of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed." (2 Chronicles 13:8-12)

Abijah was confident though his army was only half the size of Jeroboam. Notable are the statements- God is with us; he is our leader. Men of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.

Meanwhile Jeroboam had sent troops around to the rear, so that while he was in front of Judah, the ambush was behind them. Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked at both front and rear. Then they cried out to the LORD. The priests blew their trumpets and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. At the sound of their battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. The Israelites fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hands.

There are Christians who are only name sake Christians. They are like Jeroboam. They have God's Word but don't live according to it. They have instituted their own ways of worship. They try to intimidate true believer's but they will never win because God will fight for his children like he did for Abijah in this war.

Are you holding onto the promises of God and living according to his Word? The enemy will not win. That's for sure.

Mood: content
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7:27 AM   [23 Jul 2009 | Thursday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 122

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 122

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)

The prophet Isaiah prophesying about the Millenial reign of Christ gives this promise from God to his people living then. Of course there are many who do not believe in the Millenial reign of Christ after the second coming, but that's not the issue here.
The verse that we have above is so marvellous. Can the Lord answer us now in this way? Of course he can. He answered Eleazer's prayer for bringing a woman who was to be Isaac's wife.

Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too' - let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master." Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor. (Genesis 24:12-15)

Notice the phrase "Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came..."

That was an instant answer to prayer. No waiting period. How great it would be if God answered all our prayers like that. But many a time we have to wait. Yet, we should be always in the "expectant attitude."
He can answer you before you finish praying. Even today.

So, let your prayers for immediate needs be with such faith that you expect God to do a miracle even while you are praying. God bless.

Mood: calm
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7:46 AM   [22 Jul 2009 | Wednesday]

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 121

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 121

"Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 37:33,34)

King Hezekiah and the people of Judah were terrified because of the verbal insults, provocations and threats issued by Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Hezekiah tried to reassure his men that God would protect them, but the repeated threats weakened him. He cried out to the Lord. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz to enquire of the Lord as to what should be done.

Amongst the prophecies given by Isaiah were the words quoted in the title verse. The following was also said about the enemy king.
Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came. (Isaiah 37:29)

About King Hezekiah, the Lord had this to say,
"This will be the sign for you, O Hezekiah: "This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. (Isaiah 37:30)

And God fulfilled what he said. What he did was this:
Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning - there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. (Isaiah 37:36,37)

Jesus is powerful to deliver you from the enemy that is troubling you. Call out to him today. He will rise up and scatter the evil forces that are tormenting you and your family.

May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. As smoke is blown away by the wind, may you blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. (Psalm 68:1-3)

Mood: calm
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