The other day I was surprised when I read the name of one of my new patients. The nurse had brought his file and the name read "Yamraj", which means "God of Death" in Hinduism. As I waited for him to come in, I wondered why his parents must have named him so. Surely he wouldn't have looked like one when he was born. Perhaps they were worshippers of Yamraj. Or perhaps it was just a mistake on their part; they didn't realize the meaning of the name. As he entered my room, I saw that he was thin and pale, tense and nervous, as if he himself had just seen "Yamraj" on the way to the clinic. I asked him whether he knew the meaning of his name. He smiled but didn't reply.
Well, there you are; the peculiarities of human life. One of the things that most people have no control over is their own names. They are stuck with whatever their parents or guardians thought was good for them and by the time they realize that something else would have been better, their names are already in their school certificates and passports and changing to some other preferred name would mean "an uphill task", which most avoid. But there's another side to this matter. We read in the book of Proverbs, Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3, 4) Inference: We can win a good name in the sight of God and man, no matter what name we have.
We have been living in the Middle East for more than 2 years now (June 2013) and today was pest control day at our flat. Too many cockroaches this summer. These are very small and intrusive. Not like the big ones seen back home in Kerala, India. Those would make my wife and daughters run and take cover. Some of them creepy roaches would take the aerial route too.
Irritating creatures. Pest control...Good Riddance...at least for some time.
Something like temptations that comes to Christians. Creepy things; irritating; sometimes believers fall for the tempters (satan) tricks and sin; then work hard with prayer and application of the Word and overcome. But they can be back (tendency to sin) after a while, like roaches, if there is slackness in keeping one's house clean.
Bottom line: Be diligent in keeping the house clean whether it be the home that you live in or your spiritual life.
The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey - the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Exodus 3:7, 8)
If we read the above verses carefully, we can realize the many acts of God Almighty regarding his people, the Israelites; the key words being- seen, heard, concerned, come down, rescue and bring them up....To summarize...God saw the misery of his people, God heard them crying out, God was concerned about their suffering, God had come down to rescue them and God wanted to bless them after taking them away from their oppressors. It's all in those 2 verses.
Sometimes doubts may arise when we go through trials as to whether God cares. Does God see? Does God hear? Is he concerned? Will he come down to rescue? Will a blessing result from this anyway? STOP RIGHT THERE IF YOU ARE FILLED WITH SUCH DOUBTS...Read the above passage once again. God did care about his people. The eventual result was the deliverance of hundreds of thousands of men and women and children from Egyptian bondage.
Remember, the Lord is mighty to save. He sees the problems that you face, he hears your cries, he is concerned about you, he will rescue you and bless you, like only he can. So... Praise the Lord.
Can you imagine a 100 year old running the marathon? Meet Mr. Fauja Singh, from London. On 16 October 2011, He ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in eight hours, 25 minutes and 17 seconds. He took up running 11 years ago and trains every day by running 10 miles. He was ecstatic, having achieved the near impossible.
Incredible! Considering his age and him starting to train so late in life.
As someone said, "It's never too late."
In the Bible, we read of Abraham having a child when 100 years old. His wife was 90 then. Moses was called to lead the Israelites to Egypt at age 80. Jacob travelled to Egypt from Canaan at around the age of 130.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."(Philippians 4:13)
If you have been contemplating to do something righteous, something good for your family or for others or have been planning to start something new for quite some time but not acting on your plans though you have a leading of the Spirit of God, step forward with faith and find fulfilment. Remember, "You can do everything through him (Jesus) who gives you strength."
A cat has been mayor for 15 years in a town with 900 residents in Alaska. It is known as Mayor Stubbs. Several years ago, the residents of the town did not like the candidates who were then running for Mayor, so as a joke they encouraged many to elect Stubbs as a candidate and it won.
Funny things happen in this world; things that surprise us no end. Funny that sometimes people whom we think will never enter the kingdom of God, suddenly do so and jaws drop. A touch from the Almighty and there you are. Yesterday lost and in the kingdom of darkness and today, full of heavenly light. Praise God.
"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (John 6:9)
When Jesus saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" Andrew, another disciple of Jesus, spoke up and said what we read in the verse quoted above. A great crowd and only 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish.
The disciples had been with Jesus for almost an year now and they had seen their Teacher do many miracles. They were eye witnesses, but could not yet comprehend the magnitude of the power that their Teacher had. They were learning and their Teacher was teaching them much. No doubt, sometimes the astounding reality or enormity of the problems they encountered, found them wanting in faith, which Jesus described as "little faith."
Philip calculated and said it was pointless, Andrew searched and found a little but thought it was no good.
Five small barley loaves and two small fish........Jesus saw it differently. There would be enough for all and leftovers too.
He took the food, gave thanks and asked his disciples to distribute it to all the people who had gathered; 5000 men and there were women and children too. They all had their fill and 12 baskets of pieces of the barley loaves were gathered.
What we see as trivial or small can be worked upon by our Savior Jesus and there would be abundance.
He is Almighty God; we must believe that he can do great things though our finite minds cannot often imagine it.
Let's trust and abide in his promise which says,
"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
The Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there. Canaan was brought under their control, but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance. So Joshua said to the Israelites: "How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, has given you? He then, devised a plan and finally all tribes except Levi received their inheritance. The Levites, did not get a portion because the priestly service of the Lord was their inheritance.
Every earthly inheritance that one receives is temporary, for as the Psalmist sings, "The length of our days is seventy years or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10)
But the Apostle Peter speaks of another inheritance; one that can never perish, spoil or fade....one that is kept in heaven for those who have been born again.
Like a newborn coming into a new world after being in the mother's womb, a person who experiences the new birth in Christ is born in to a living hope; a hope that one does not have without knowing Christ. There are others who live with a false hope that their works will save them, only to enter eternity and realise their folly; but then it is too late.
No doubt, earthly inheritances have importance, though temporarily and God gives as he wills, but our concern should be of that which the Lord has kept in heaven for us. An inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade and an inheritance that can be experienced and enjoyed without time limits.
The question then comes, "How can one (I/You) be sure?"
The Apostle Peter answers that very promptly in the same passage...."who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation"
YES.......By faith a child of God can proclaim, "I will receive my heavenly inheritance as the Lord has promised."
Like Joshua asked the 7 tribes, "How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, has given you?", here's a question for the one who is still in two minds regarding the validity of the new birth through Jesus Christ......"How long will you wait before you take possession of the heavenly inheritance that God wants to give you through Jesus Christ?".....LET IT NOT BE A BIT TOO LATE.
"Agreed," she replied. "Let it be as you say." So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. (Joshua 2:21)
Rahab was a prostitute who hid the Israelite spies sent by Joshua to spy the land of Jericho. She was kind to them and saved them from the king's soldiers who came searching for them at the command of the king. She acknowledged the sovereignty of God Almighty and requested them to show kindness to her and her family when Joshua and the Israelites took over the land. They agreed, but also told her, " "This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. (Joshua 2:17, 18)
And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. (Joshua 2:21)
Tying the scarlet line in the window turned out to be a great blessing to her and her family, for when Joshua and the Israelites invaded and destroyed Jericho, she and her whole family were saved.
Notable here is the fact that she tied the scarlet line soon after she let down the spies. Perhaps she could have waited and pondered over what the spies had said; perhaps held a discussion with her family, before tying the line, but no; she did not waste time. She did what she had to, for the deliverance of her family.
Oh, I forgot, is what we hear from many mouths, regarding important spiritual matters. But that can be avoided, if we choose to act wisely saving precious time.
Another thing that we can learn from her story is that God doesn't forget the good that one does for His children or His servants. He remembers and rewards bountifully in his wonderful ways.
Here's an exhortation from the writer of Hebrews to all...
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:10-12)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.. (Philippians 2:5)
24 years after heeding the call of God and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ and a minister of the Gospel, when the Lord asked me to preach on the above verse, I asked myself whether, after all these years, my attitude was now, as that of Jesus Christ. It also reminded me of God speaking to Abraham, that great icon of faith, 24 years after he had set out heeding the call of God. Abraham was 99 years old and this is what God had to say to him: "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless." (Genesis 17:1) Did I hear that right?.........I am 99.......Blameless? Abraham never read the King James Version, I guess, for in that, this verse called for something more. I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (Genesis 17:1) (KJV) Perfection is what God desired then and perfection is what Jesus desires now from his disciples. In Jesus' own words......Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) Is perfection possible? Perfection like the Father, that too? No where near it I would say; far from it, to put it bluntly.
Paul, the Apostle grappled with this thought and he wrote to the Philippians... I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14)
That's exactly what God desires from me and you too when he says, "Be Perfect" He desires that we press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of us. ..............Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.
SO...Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23) AND...........do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (Hebrews 10:35)