The Crucifixion of Christ

Lord Jesus understood that it was time to fulfill the desires of the Father in Heaven. It meant it was time for His crucifixion. John 16:16, 16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

John 17:1, After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

Luke 9:44-45, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

1) The Last Supper of Jesus: On the day of the Last Supper, Jesus sat down with His disciples for the supper together. Before they had eaten, Jesus washed and dried the feet of all His disciples. It is only then that they ate. Jesus fully knew what was about to happen. He said to His disciples that one of them will betray Him tonight. The disciples were disturbed on hearing this and kept asking, “Is it me?”. Lord said to them it is the one who dips his hand in the chalice with me. When Judas asked, “Is it me?”, Jesus answered, ” Yes, it is you.” Hearing this, Satan entered his heart. Even after His teacher had given him a warning he did not mend his ways. Judas went straight to Chief priest Caiphas and betrayed Jesus for mere 30 pieces of silver.

Words of Jesus at the Last Supper: Luke 22:19-20, 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. After this Jesus went to Gethsemane with His disciples to pray. Luke 22:44, 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Being tired the disciples slept instead of praying. So Jesus asked the disciples to be vigilant and keep praying for strength.

2) Jesus is arrested: As soon as Jesus’s prayer got over, Judas came to the garden with some soldiers to arrest Jesus. As decided earlier as a sign of recognition, Judas kissed Jesus to identify Him to the soldiers. Apostle Peter followed behind when Jesus was arrested. He wanted to see what they would do to his teacher. This following led him to deny knowing Jesus three times just as Jesus had said. One person betrayed, another denied knowing Him, and the rest 10 ran away for their lives.

Mathew 26:31, 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

Jesus has taught us that there is no greater love than giving up your life for the one you love. But all that He taught has vanished over the years. Jesus didn’t see familiar faces that loved or cared for Him.

3) Jesus is questioned: Jesus is brought up in front of Hign priest Caiphas, high officials, and Pontius Pilate as a common criminal. Pilate wanted to let go of Jesus. Pilate’s wife sent him a message through a messenger, Matthew 27:19: 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” Despite his best efforts, Pilate could not help Jesus because the high priests and officials out of jealousy had bribed and influenced a group of people to accuse Jesus wrongly. The mob shouted together to crucify Jesus. When Pilate saw that his efforts were going in vain and the crowd was becoming louder and unruly he decided to flog Jesus and have Him crucified.

4)Jesus is tortured: The soldiers stripped Jesus of His clothes. They made him wear a red robe. They had decided to mock and ridicule Jesus. They fashioned a crown made out of thorns and placed staff in His hands. Then they bent down before Him and mocked Him saying, ‘Hail to the king’. They struck the crown of thorns on His head with a rod. they spit on His holy face. they blindfolded Him and hit Him. Then they asked Him to prophecize who among them had hit Him. They flogged Him repeatedly till flesh began to fall off at places. After they had tortured and mocked Him they made Him carry the cross meant to crucify Him to the Mount of Golgotha. Jesus was exhausted from the physical and mental torture. Unable to bear the weight of the cross He was carrying He fell down thrice on the way. The Romans had wanted to crucify Jesus alive. So, they made Simon a passerby carry the cross to Golgotha.

The way He was crucified goes like this. To crucify Him, they threw His body on the cross. First, they nailed His right hand and then His left hand. Then they placed the cross into a hole dug beforehand for the cross to stand. The legs were then pulled down onto a ledge for the legs and then nailed. The manner in which the legs are pulled makes the whole body weight pulled down hanging by the nails on the hand. This causes excessive bleeding and rupture of veins in the body which led to internal bleeding as well.

The death at the cross after a few hours. The pain experienced by Lord Jesus due to the nails cannot be experienced nor be put into words. Many times the blood stopped flowing and formed clots. Those who did not die from bleeding on the cross were killed by breaking the bones in their legs. After breaking the bones in the legs of the two thieves convicted along with Jesus, the Roman soldiers reached to do the same with Jesus. He had died by the time they reached Him.

We have just read about the suffering and torture of Jesus. Every year, Good Friday comes and goes. Several retreats, prayers, and sermons take place around that time. The number of people who cry thinking of the Lord’s suffering is not less. We too should bear the pain and cry in the knowledge that each one of us is responsible for the pain and crucifixion of Christ. He paid the price for saving our souls. Can we pray like this, Dear Lord, please forgive me my transgressions.

Isaiah 53:4-12, Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

No matter how many tears we shed it is not enough to repay for our sins. The Lord taught us even at the cross with the thief that if one confesses and repents from his sins even at his last moment the Lord will save his soul. There is no sin in temptation alone. It becomes sin when we give it a place in our heart and mind and also act upon the temptation. Dear children of God, at the time of temptation, look up at the cross and remember that He bore the burden of our sins. Let us all make a firm decision that we will not add further blows to the nails placed on His hands and feet. This should be our penance every Good Friday.

Jonah, the one who runs away from God

There are only 4 chapters in the book of Jonah. Yet we get valuable lessons from the four chapters. Jonah gave more importance to himself than the word of God. He had a very narrow mind. Prophet Jonah stepped back from the duty given by the Father almighty. Father in heaven desires only repentance and a change of heart. He does not want to lose even one soul to the enemy. We often ignore His words and do not repent from our ways as much as we should. The enemy always makes us ignore the warnings, signs, and words of God. Just like many of us Jonah too had a distorted image of God in his mind. It led him into the depth of the ocean into the stomach of a whale. The one who hears our cries from every corner heard Jonah’s pleas from the belly of the fish and made the whale vomit him on the shores of Nineveh. Let us take a look at the mistakes made by Jonah:

  1. Jonah ran away from the presence of the Lord: God instructed Jonah in Jonah 1:2, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” God told him to go to Nineveh but he took a ship to Tarshish. The reason for his disobedience is given by Jonah in Jonah 4:2, He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Jonah had thought that if the people of Nineveh repented and changed from their evil ways then the merciful Lord will not punish them. In that case, no one will believe his words again. Jonah gave more importance to his prophesy rather than to the change of heart in people. Jonah forgot Lord’s instructions and his duty.

Jonah ran away in a direction of his own choice. But the Lord did not leave him alone on his way. The Lord made strong winds blow against the ship Jonah was traveling in. When the other passengers came to know that the turbulence was because of Jonah, they threw him into the ocean. The Lord rescued Jonah and brought him to Nineveh.

2. The Jonah who walked along with the Lord: The Lord gave instructions to Jonah for the second time. Jonah 3:4, Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Jonah obeyed this time. the king and all the people of Nineveh believed the words of Jonah. Jonah 3:5-10, The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

The merciful Lord saw the change of heart in His people and forgave them.

3. Jonah, the selfish prophet: Jonah did not like that the Lord did not destroy the city of Nineveh and forgave the people. Jonah 4:1,3: But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah even desired to die rather than see people being saved. Jonah went outside the city of Nineveh and built a shelter for himself to see what would become of the city of Nineveh. For shade the Lord made a leafy plant grow beside his shelter. Jonah was very happy in the comfort. But at dawn theLord made a worm chew away the plant so that it withered. This angered Jonah a lot. Seeing his anger and discomfort the Lord says to him Jonah 4: 9-11, But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Just think if the Lord had left Jonah on his way what would have happened? Another Sodom Gomorrah would have come up in Nineveh. Each person living on earth has been given a duty and a role to play by the Lord. For eg: family, job, community, etc. We too are like Jonah. More than the word of God and saving fellow brothers and sisters, we prefer and also place importance on money, status, rank, and reputation in society. Our Father in heaven saves each soul that repents irrespective of caste, religion, status, and standing. Jesus preached the Good News, selected, and sent the apostles into the world for the repentance of souls. Mark 16:15-16, 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

We have read about the desire of the Lord, Jonah’s disobedience, and its repercussions. Jonah suffered the consequences of disobeying the Lord. Just think, is there a Jonah inside me too???? It is time to examine yourself. If the answer is yes, then throw him out. Be careful about the days ahead. Do not let Jonah take residence inside you.

The reward of our hardwork is God’s will

When God Works through us pexels-photo-195277 - A Glimpse of HeavenA  Glimpse of Heaven

It is an often-heard phrase, ” We are praying to God, it will happen”. When questions such as ‘Has your son/daughter got a job? Has your son/daughter found a suitable marriage proposal?’ are put forward, most people reply saying that we are praying about it. Unlike the parents of generations gone by, parents today are not invested in the lives of their children, and neither do they make efforts like earlier. Seeing them the children also grow up with such values and emotions. Lord Jesus during His days of preaching often spoke that we need to do our part first only then does the hand of the Lord act. Let us see some examples from the Bible:

  1. Lord’s first miracle: The wine ran out at the house in Cana where the wedding was taking place. Jesus could have easily changed the water in the jars into wine by just saying so. Yet this is not what happened. Jesus asked the servants to fill the water jars with water upto the brim. They followed His instructions and did as told. John 2:7-8, Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” He then asks them to take the water to the master of the banquet. By the time it reaches him the water had been turned to the finest quality wine.
  2. Jesus raises Lazarus: Jesus reached Lazarus’ tomb four days after his death. A huge rock had been placed at the mouth of the tomb to cover it. Jesus asked the people present to move it away. John 11:38-39, 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Had Jesus said to the rock to roll away it would have rolled away from the tomb. Had Jesus said, ‘Lazarus come out’. Lazarus would have come out of the tomb and rolled away the stone himself. When Lazarus came out he was his hands and feet were covered with linen clothes, Jesus asks people to take them off. He could have simply said that the clothes fall off him but He didn’t.
  3. Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind: John 9:11, Jesus had healed several people by His mere touch and by even saying so. Here Jesus heals the man born blind by putting mud on his eyes and asking him to wash them in the pool of Siloam. The blind washed his eyes(symbolic of his sins) and gained eyesight. The man did his part as told after Jesus did what He had to. This was he was healed.
  4. Jesus pays His tax: Mathew 17:27, 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Jesus was in need of a drachma coin to pay for tax. He did not like to borrow from others and pay. He asked his disciple Peter a former fisherman to drop a hook and find the coin in a fish’s mouth. Jesus knew that Peter would find the coin in the fish’s mouth since it was Him who sent the fish.

Genesis 2:15, 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Father in heaven did not place Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to simply enjoy the luxuries. They had their share of responsibilities and duties tending and taking care of the garden. There were only two people in the garden and lots to eat. They could have lived a carefree life just looking after the garden. We all know what happened and the result God says in Genesis 3:19,

19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

It would do well if each one of us asks this of ourselves: Are we doing our part in the Lord’s plan? Are we doing our duties and responsibilities?

2 Thessalonians 3:10-11, 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.nThis Bible verse also speaks to us about working hard for ourselves and enjoying the fruit of one’s own hard work. Today the major cause of tears and heartache is the lack of head of the family who performs his/her duties, highly educated children, or children who evade their responsibilities and duties. Many children want only white-collar jobs or jobs with high remuneration and status. Then there are some who would work only abroad. Then there are some children who do not stick at one job and quit finding one reason or the other. Many enjoy the bribe more than their own salary and ruin their family name with black listing and suspension. No one will enjoy reading this. Yet this is the harsh truth. Can you say no to this?

Dear brothers and sisters, Confucius had rightly said, ” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” If we have the mind and heart to do the small steps that are required to reach the final outcome then the destination is not far from us. Do your best and God does the rest. Proverbs 13:4, A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Proverbs 16:3, Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

Guilt/Remorse should lead to Repentance

Biblical Evidence for “Holy Father” and “Vicar of Christ” | Dave Armstrong

There is always a feeling of security and trust when we are surrounded by our family members. Family should be a place where one is able to share and feel safe at all times. If we sit down introspect ourselves, we will find that there are many blessings that we do not deserve or are not worthy to receive. Many times we do not give due value to the grace and blessings we receive from God. We give value to that which is forbidden. In this way, we lose the Lord’s grace.

  1. Adam and Eve: Adam and Eve had a whole garden for themselves. Forgetting the instructions given by the Heavenly Father for some time, both of them took and ate that which was forbidden. Instead of accepting their mistake and repenting for it they started to blame each other for the mistake and tried to escape. Those who were blessed and lived and in abundance were not cursed and thrown out of the garden. The first child born from the curse, Cain killed his own younger brother out of jealousy. In a mistake that seemed trivial at that time made Adam and Eve lose the garden forever.

2. Greedy Jacob: Father Issac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. When Esau returned back to the tent hungry, Jacob asked the right to be the firstborn in exchange for some soup to satisfy his hunger. It didn’t end there. Jacob went on to dress like Esau and appeared before old Isaac and took his blessings through deceit.

When Jacob realized that Esau would kill him when he comes to know about this. He ran away to Laban, his maternal uncle. On the way he was alone. He remembered his home and desired to return back home. Jacob was stricken with guilt and the loss of his family and home. In Genesis 28:21, 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God, Jacob asks God that if he returns back home he will accept Him as his God. Jacob does back home but at a price. He cheated on his father and brother, and he is cheated by Laban. Jacob loses many years in this way.

The Lord who examines our heart saw the grieving heart of Jacob. He appeared before him. Genesis 28:15, 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Jacob lost a lifetime in Laban’s house. Jacob cheated twice, once his brother and second his father. Jacob was cheated by Laban 10 times. When Jacob returns home after several years he says that he saw the Lord in him, Genesis: 33:10, 10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. Esau was delighted to have him back and forgave him. Here we see that Jacob was repentant of his mistake and hence saw the face of God in his brother’s face.

3. Joseph’s brothers: Joseph’s brothers threw him into a dried well and later sold him as a slave. It was not Joseph’s destiny to be a slave. Even though sold as a slave he rose to the ranks of second in command to the Pharaoh himself. A sudden twist in his life and he is thrown into prison. Yet the Lord’s eyes are upon him, Genesis 39:21, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

The Pharaoh saw two visions one after the other. No one was able to decipher its meaning. Only Joseph could decipher and tell the meaning of the visions. The vision showed 7 years of prosperity followed by 7 years of severe famine. This made the Pharaoh very happy and he made Joseph his chief in command. Genesis 41: 38-41, 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 

There was famine all over the land. Jacob sent his sons to Egypt upon hearing that there were grains available. On reaching Egpyt the sons had to pass through several tests. The brothers are seen talking among themselves, Genesis 42: 21-22, 21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” Joseph reveals himself to his brother. they are overjoyed to see him and hug him close and wept. Genesis 45:14-15, 14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward, his brothers talked with him.

It is natural to feel remorse and guilt in the absence of family and loved ones when one is alone, trapped in the sufferings and maze of life. Through the parable of the Prodigal son, Jesus tries to teach us the same thing. The prodigal son took his shares from the father and went away. He wasted his money on the luxuries of life. Finally, he landed at a place where there was a severe famine. The son remembered the days he spent with his father at his home. The Bible tells us that he realizes his folly Luke 15:17, 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!. He goes back to his own home to his father. When the father saw his battered and worn-out son, he embraced him close to his chest. The father received him with a lot of celebrations.

Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father too is ever merciful and receives each child who returns back to Him with an embrace. Micah 7:18-19, 18 Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Do not be like Adam, Eve, or Cain. Instead of repenting before the Lord do not become the slaves of the Devil like Judas. Before the crucifixion of Jesus instead of reaching Jesus, Judas committed suicide. Let the prodigal son be an example for us. Had he thought about the reactions of his elder brother or his relatives and neighbors, the prodigal son would not have had the courage to return back home. His ultimate goal was to reach his father and seek forgiveness. Our aim should also be one thing only, to reach the ever merciful Father- repentance and forgiveness of sins. If humans can forgive the mistakes of their children. Then think what about the Father in heaven who loves us so much that He gave His only Son for our sins. Think.

Birth of the World’s Saviour

Super-White Baby Jesus | Super-White Baby Jesus is super whi… | Flickr

2021 Christmas is just around the corner. The past months have been days of loss, hopelessness, and sorrow. We have lost the lives of many dear and near ones. It is not possible for people to get together in the church to worship and adore the Lord. In the current scenario, one cannot step out without a mask. Nothing moves in this world without the permission of the Creator. then why did the Lord permit such a pandemic to take place?? Can we all try to change and transform ourselves as a sign of adoration and praise for the Lord who kept us all safe till this Christmas??? Let us all introspect and question ourselves to transform from within. May this be our way of worship to the Lord before the start of the New Year.

Taking the Bible as our foundation let’s observe certain things:

  1. Faith: Zechariah-Elizabeth were a childless couple. Having grown old they lost hope. Luke 1:8-11, Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. The angel of the Lord appeared before Zechariah and told him that he will have a child. Even though a priest in the service of the Lord, Zechariah had doubt. He asks the angel how can it be possible. Luke 1: 18-20, 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” His doubt made the angel Gabriel silence his tongue till the child was born.

After nearly six months, angel Gabriel appeared before a virgin in Nazareth, a town in Galilee, pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. She was surprised at the visit. The angel of the Lord said, Luke 1:30-31,  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Mary had only one doubt that how could she as a virgin bear a child. the angel replied,

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. So it was done.

On the other hand, when Jospeh came to know that Mary was pregnant he decided to abandon her anonymously. He received a vision in his dreams. Mathew 1:20-21, 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph believed the words of the angel and accepted Mary as his wife. The birth of the Saviour through a virgin was foretold in Isaiah 7:14, 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. This came true.

The angel of the Lord came to another group. Luke 2:8-18, And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 

The uneducated and poor shepherds believed and trusted the word of the angels. They followed the sign of the star and reached the Saviour. They saw and returned back home.

2. Obedience: A simple virgin girl submitted herself completely to the will of the Lord. She had only been betrothed. She did not discuss or even mention the dangers she would have to face when her pregnancy (outside marriage) would become known. She believed the words of affirmation from the angel, Luke 1:37-38, 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. 2000 Years have passed since. Even today world over people call her blessed among women to have received this grace to be the mother of the Saviour of the World. She too affirms, Luke 1:48, for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
…Yes, till the world stands she will be called upon as blessed among women.

3. The hard-hearted innkeeper: In those times, Augustus issued a decree that all Jews need to register themselves for Census in Bethlehem. Joseph went to Bethlehem with his fully pregnant wife, Mary. Due to the rush, they could not find any room in the inns. Joseph was a skilled carpenter. this proved to be a boon to them. He created suitable conditions for Mary in a nearby manger. One historian has gone far to say that when Jesus was born He shone like a sun and all animals kept silent seeing Him. Mary gave birth to Jesus in a humble manger.

Before this, we know that a fully pregnant Mary went with Joseph looking for a room at the inn. It was not a time with comfortable traveling means like we have today. The innkeeper felt no compassion or empathy even after seeing the fully pregnant young girl. The hard-hearted innkeeper is actually symbolic of each one of us. How easy it is for us to judge others. Joseph and Mary were not rich. They came from humble backgrounds. It would be good if we pause and think what would we have done in place of the innkeeper. Today it is most common to find people taking bribes to get things done. Compassion, mercy, and love are all things of the past now. He must have thought that giving a room to a full-time pregnant girl would lead to hassles. He let the opportunity to serve the Saviour in his inn go waste. Many times, we too let such opportunities to serve the Lord slip out of our hands. Think.

Angel Gabriel first appeared before the priest Zechariah. Even though he had prayed earnestly for a child for many years. He did not believe the angel when he was told he would be blessed with a son. Though temporarily, he was punished for his lack of faith. He was dumb till the birth of John who laid the way for Christ. When he was blessed with the biggest gift he appeared as a dumb person before his wife Elizabeth. The husband who should have been the source of strength and comfort during her pregnancy in old age had lost the power to speak. Just imagine the situation.

Joseph and Mary were young inexperienced people. Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary and told her she would give birth to Jesus. She believed and obeyed. Young Joseph too received a vision that the virgin Mary was blessed with Holy Spirit and would give birth to the Saviour. He too believed and obeyed. He married Mary. Mary’s faith and obedience led her to become the mother of the Saviour. Joseph’s faith and obedience led him to be known as the foster father of the Son of God. These two people are the role models for us to understand how one should be to become the instrument of God.

Joseph and Mary received the grace of God. What would be our reaction if the Lord chose us for His plan?? Would he be able to fulfill His plans through us?? If in doubt, pray with faith to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Think what are the obstacles. pray for them to be removed. May this Christmas we all become instruments of God.

AMEN.

Baby Jesus Xmas Painting - Free image on Pixabay

Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is near

Pin on CARDS of Gospel Q&A | The Church of Almighty God Cards of Gospel Q&A

The Good News that Lord Jesus shared with the world was Repentance and the Kingdom of God. Mathew 4:17, 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” The tax collectors and sinners gathered around Jesus to hear from Him. Seeing this, the Pharisees started to grumble and plan among themselves. They said in Luke 15:2, But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” To their grumbling, Jesus answered that healing is needed for those who are suffering not for those who are well. Mathew 9:12-13, 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Lord Jesus shared three parables with them.

  1. Parable of the Lost Sheep: First the parable of the lost sheep. Once there was a shepherd who had 100 sheep. One of them got lost while grazing. The shepherd left behind the 99 sheep and went looking for the one that was lost. When he found the lost sheep, he picked it up and carried it with him on his shoulder. He then celebrated with his friends on having found the lost sheep. Luke 15:7, I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

A sheep is an innocent animal. They are completely dependent on the shepherd for food and safety. Even if hungry or thirsty, once they are in their shed they do not venture out, They only cry out in hunger calling upon the shepherd. Hearing their cries, the shepherd brings food and water for them. The shepherd takes them for grazing on pasture. The sheep unaware of the danger that lies before them, wander off while grazing into unknown places, crooks, and crannies. They are incapable of self-defense in case they are attacked by predators or fall into any pits. They can only cry for help. The shepherd without any fore thinking jumps to help them even if it lands him into dangerous terrains and situations.

2. The parable of the Lost Coin: A lady had a necklace of ten coins. One of them got lost. She lighted a lamp and started to search for it everywhere. For Jewish women, such a necklace was not an adornment. It was a reflection of their married status. It got lost due to her lack of attention. Instead of being content with the remaining 9 coins in the necklace, She lights a lamp and searches for the coin till she finds it. When she finds it, she too celebrates with her friends and neighbor like the shepherd.

3. The parable of the Prodigal Son: Among the creations of God, only man is under the influence of alcohol and other beverages. Children are those who live under the umbrella of the security and warmth of their parents. It was not part of Jewish tradition to distribute father’s property while he was alive.

Jesus said this parable, A father had two sons. The younger son asked for his share of the property and went away. He might not have felt freedom under his father. He must have desired to be richer and more prosperous than his father. He must have planned several things for himself. Yet what happened was just the opposite. He sold his share of the property for cash. With his freedom and cash in hand, he lived a life of luxury and sin. He destroyed and spend all he had. There was an extreme famine in the land he reached. He sought shelter with one of the inhabitants of the land. He kept him as his pig keeper. Unable to satisfy his hunger he had to rummage for food among the scraps given to the pigs. He did not get to eat even from the scraps. Luke 15: 17-18, 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 

His father always kept an eye for his return. The father recognized his son from afar and was filled with joy on his return. The father paid no attention to the words of remorse and repentance his son said to him. The father was filled with joy and happiness and embraced him close to his heart.

Jesus had shared three parables with people. We get three different lessons from these three parables.

  1. Sheep: Sheep was lost because of its ignorance.
  2. Coin: The coin was lost due to carelessness.
  3. Prodigal Son: Went astray on his own will

In the first two parables, the owners took time to search for the one that was lost. In the third parable, the son realized his wayward nature and repented and came back to his father. Among these three parables, pause and think where do we stand. The prodigal son had full faith in his father. He was not wrong. The younger son gave no thought to what his elder brother, relatives, servants, and friends would say on his return. In his mind, there was a place only for his ever-loving father. Had he thought otherwise he would have been finished where he had gone.

Dear children of God, if you feel you have strayed from His path due to ignorance or carelessness. Remember that the gracious Lord Jesus is always looking for you, waiting for your return. Have you destroyed yourself in search of worldly pleasures?? Do not hesitate. Repent and return to Him… There should only be one image before your eyes. The image of our Lord Jesus who gave up His life for the redemption of our sins. Even today He waits for us with open arms that have nail marks. Return to Him and hug Him.

Who is Jesus in your life?

John 4

While travelling, Jesus had to once cross the city of Samaria. Jesus and His disciples were tired having travelled so far on foot. When they reached Samaria they came to a town named Sychar. Jesus sat down near the near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. On that plot  Jacob’s well was there, Jesus sat near the well. It was noon. He sent His disciples away to buy food and provisions. During that time, the Jews and Samaritans were not on good terms with each other. At that time, a Samaritan came to draw water from the well. He asked for some water to drink. Thinking that Jesus was some Jew rabbi, she replied John 3:9, The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans)

Hearing her reply Jesus answers like this, John 3:10,10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” These words caused a stir in her heart and she asked Him, John3:12, 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answers, 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Even though the Samaritan woman did not understand the depth of Jesus’ words, she asked Him to give her some of the water He just spoke about.

Jesus asks her to come back to Him with her husband. The woman had led a sinful life and did not have a husband to show. She tried to shy away from this and said that she had no husband. John 3: 17-18, Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” Jesus told her about her own life and from then on she gave up her disgraceful living. She was transformed from within and replied, 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. A few moments later she says, 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Even though she had led a sinful life and was living a life of sin, Jesus chose to reveal Himself to her. 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Today something like this happening. He/she is a sinner and we treat them as outcasts. There are some who gather wealth for coming ten generations. Then there are some who sell their body for a living and to survive, thereby polluting their soul. There is an innate desire in everyone to love and to be loved. Some go astray when they do not find this love at the right time and hence fall into snares of temptations. That turning or faltered step leads them to the condition of the Samaritan woman. It is here that we feel and understand the importance of family, family love, nurture and togetherness. Today love and tolerance has gone out of family life.

It took only few minutes for the Samaritan woman to grasp the presence of Jesus. From an ordinary Jew to a prophet to the Messiah, the revelation was there for her. Even though she was a sinful woman, it is to be noticed that she had the courage to talk with Jesus about prayer and adoration. She forgot the desire of the body, dropped the water jar she had brought and rushed to Samaria to share the news. And she then questions the people if Jesus could be the Messiah. 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” The witness of the Samaritan woman became the reason for the belief and faith of many in Samaria.

Lord Jesus had come to earth in search of sinners. Mathew 9:12-13, 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” The Lord had no gender discrimination, caste discrimination, public place or place of worship. All are same for Him. He had come looking for the sinners and the downtrodden. He healed a crippled Woman on the Sabbath. For Him a sacred day as Sabbath was not an obstacle to heal people.

The Bible teaches us that 2000 years ago Jesus came to earth for us as our Messiah/Saviour. Read the Holy Bible daily. Try to know the Savior closer. Jesus did not establish a religion, instead He had established a parish. Jesus was not concerned with the religion of the people, neither being a Christian is a guarantee for deliverance. Redemption and deliverance is available only to those who have complete faith in Jesus, who proclaim their faith without fear, and follow His teachings. The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the Son of God and the image of the Heavenly Father.

Dear children of God, think what does this Savior mean in your lives?? Acts 16:31, 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Yahweh’s rule and Satan’s question

Genesis 2:9, The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Bible teaches us that the heavenly Father created the Heaven and the Earth. He had created many trees and fruit trees among which many do not exist anymore. He created man and woman in His own image. The Lord put them both in the Garden of Eden to look after the garden and live in it. He had prohibited them from only one thing, never to eat the fruit from the tree of life and knowledge which stood in the middle of the garden.

Genesis 2:15-17, 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Instead of praising and glorifying the Lord, Lucifer and his group of angels desired to be equivalent to the Lord. They led a battle which they lost and were sent to the earth having their wings cut. Satan became extremely jealous of the relationship between man and Father in heaven. He decided to dupe man in one of his traps. Finding Eve alone he approached her, Genesis 3:1, Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

To this question, Eve replies, Genesis 3:3, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” Trying to convince her to agree to his trap he lures her, Genesis 3:4-5,“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Adam and Eve were created as innocent as a newborn baby. They were fully grown yet unaware of their nakedness. Their inner eye was closed to sin and temptations.

One bite from the tree of knowledge and they became aware of right and wrong, and also their nakedness. Genesis 3:7, Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. When it was cool of the day, Father came to the garden to visit Adam and Eve as usual. Both of them hid from Him in fear and embarrassment. Father did not abandon His children. He killed an animal and made clothes for them(a possibility that a lamb was killed) Genesis 3:21, 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. What may seem like a trivial matter of disobedience, became the reason for the murder of an innocent animal, the first sacrifice.

Man violated the only rule that the Father gave them at the time of creation. They were sent away from the garden and distanced from the sight of the Father. They were cursed for all of mankind. Through the first parents, Satan acquired dominion over man. First parents violated the first rule of the Father, and the first born became the first murderer on Earth. First disobedience, then murder. The list of sins and violations then goes on forever. Today, Satan dresses up sins and temptations in new ways to make us all fall prey to his trap. We often forget presence his around us which follows us around like a shadow and is as regular as a remote control. The Bible teaches us that Adam and Eve were scared of facing the Father. Today, fear of God, feeling of guilt, and remorse of sins are just frivolous words. The number of people who question the Bible has risen, causing clouds in the faith. There are also people who think that even though the Father loves us all but then would He punish us into hell??? Do our parents correct and reprimand us when we do wrong or not??

Mathew 4:17, 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” The Son of God preached us about repentance and the Kingdom of God. Through parables and general teachings He taught us about Heaven and Hell. In the beginning, Eve was deceived by having her disbelieve in the rule of the Lord and believe in words of Satan. That was his master trick. Even today Satan continues with several master tricks and blinds us all to take risks. We become chained to worldly pleasures and desires of the earth. As a result, sins continues to grow hundredfold.

The sin that our parents did was trivial to the sins that we children commit today. In those days, Yahweh instructed to sacrifice animals to pay for the sins of man. Yet it was not a solution to ever increasing sin, pride and greed of man. Son of God sacrificed Himself on the cross for us and paid with His life for our sins. Do not undermine and devalue this sacrifice as a license to commit sin. If we do not repent from the bottom of our heart and seek repentance before we die, we will definitely face judgement. Luke 13:5, I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Revelation 3:3, Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Our Lord also warned us against following the old path after we have repented from our sins. 2 Peter 2:20-22, 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

John 8:11, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The question that Satan asked Eve, is the same question which he now asks each one of us. Blessed are those who do not fall into the snares of Satan and follow that statutes of the Lord. The promise He made to His children is this, Joshua 8:1, Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Joel 2:13, 13 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.

What needs to done??? Think carefully. The soul belongs to each one. Do you want to lead the soul to heaven or into the hands of the enemy??? Choice is yours. 2 Corinthians 5:10, 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Do not take the freedom that the Son of God gave for granted

Galatians 5:1 — Verse of the Day for 07/04/2021
https://www.verseoftheday.com/en/07042021/

Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

How did man lose his freedom? Our Father in heaven had created man and gave him all the freedom. He had asked him only one thing. He forbid man to touch the tree of knowledge. When Eve was alone in the garden of Eden, the serpent approached her. He lured her with the goodness that the fruit of the tree of knowledge would give. The serpent only told her good things about the forbidden fruit. Eve fell for his snare and accepted his words to be of value. She ate the fruit and gave it Adam as well. In this way we lost the freedom we had with the Father in heaven.

1.Freedom: There is no one living on this earth who does not desire freedom. It is a desire that one has since birth. Our Father in heaven is so benevolent and gracious, that He could not leave us, His children in that condition of sin. There is a lot of importance to sin before the Lord. It is because of this that He gave up His only Son as the sacrificial lamb for our sins (John 3:16, 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)

1 John 3:1, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:8, The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Son of God, Jesus gave up His life on the cross having suffered brutally. In this way He brought us close to the Father. It is through His death that we received the grace of God once again and were transformed again. 2 Corinthians, 3:17-19, 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2.Stability: Psalm 51:10, Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

The Lord’s servant, David prayed to the Father in the above Psalm after having sinned. Malachi 3:6-7, “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

Isaiah 43:25, 25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
    your transgressions, for my own sake,
    and remembers your sins no more.

Those who keep sinning and fall prey to the snares of the devil, this is what the Bible teaches them: Hebrews 6:4-6, 10, It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

10 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. 

Those who have seen must be remembering this sight. Once you tie a cow/calf to a pole, many a time when you untie it, it does not move. This is because it does not understand its freedom having tied down for so long.

3. Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery: After repentance do not turn back into sinning. The Lord also does not condemn the sinful woman, He rather asks her to stop sinning. John 8:11, 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

If the Father in heaven is a loving father then he also has anger like a father who has been wronged. 2 Peter 3:17, 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

2 Peter 2:20, 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

2 Peter 2:22, 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Just like the cow who is tied down, we too are in the shackles of some temptation of this world. 1 Peter 4:3, For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 3:17, 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

2 Corinthians 5:21, 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Dear children of God, all these Bible verses teach us that through the crucifixion of the Son of God, we gained freedom. But when we sin again and again we lose this freedom through our own act of sin.

Ecclesiastes 8:11, 11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

But the Bible teaches us this also:

Ecclesiastes 11:9, You who are young, be happy while you are young,
    and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
    and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
    God will bring you into judgment.

The Lord who answers prayers, and delivers us from all fears

David ran for his life fearing Saul and ran to the king of Gath better known as Achish, King Abimelech. The servants of the king immediately recognized David. To escape from there, David pretended to be insane. After escaping from the clutches of King Abimelech, David penned down Psalms 34 giving praise and expressing his gratefulness. Among the numerous Psalms, many have been composed by David. His Psalms are filled with gratitude and praise. He pleaded for protection from his enemies. He is also seen begging for forgiveness after sinning. In this way, each Psalms composed by David has a background behind it. Knowing the background to each Psalms helps in understanding the depth and meaning of the words.

In Psalms 34 we see there are two important lines.

1.Psalms 34:4, I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.

The verse says that the Lord answers all prayers. David always placed his trust in the Lord. The young boy David killed the giant Goliath not by the strength of his weapons, but his faith and trust in the Lord. We can see in the Psalms composed by David that he laid a lot of importance to prayer. Does our Lord only answer prayer of David?? Does He not answers our prayers and petitions??? The Lord keeps an eye on those who call upon Him in prayer. This can be seen in Acts 9:11-12, where Ananias receives a call by God where he is shown Saul praying, and is asked to restore his sight. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus  named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” The Lord asked Ananias in Damascus to go to Saul who was in Tarsus, praying. When Ananias left Damascus, Saul receives a vision about Ananias. Today, in the midst of all luxuries we have forgotten to take time out to communicate with the Lord and sit for prayer. The number of people who misunderstand those who are immersed in heartfelt prayers is also not less. The silent prayers of Hannah were misunderstood by the priest, Eli. The Bible tells us her prayers were heard by the Lord and she was blessed with a boy whom she named, Samuel.

Many people do not shirk away from commenting or mocking those who forget themselves in prayer. The Bible teaches us through various examples that loud wailing prayer, silent prayer, prayer from the bottom of the sea, prayer from the den of lion, prayer in a desert or even a sigh with the Lord’s name does not go unheard by Him. The Bible teaches us that Lord Jesus Christ never turned away anyone who came to Him with petitions.

Psalms 34:8, Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

2. Psalms 34:7, The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

David is well known to have experienced the care and refuge of the Lord. The Bile teaches us that David always praised the Lord and gave thanks to Him as he remembered his journey from a shepherd boy to a mighty king. The Lord protected him several times from the clutches of Saul who was trying to kill him. We have seen that having escaped Saul he ran to King Abimelech. After escaping from King Abimelech he composed Psalms 34. Here too we see that the Lord helped him escape by giving the brilliant idea to pretend being insane. David during his rule and even on his deathbed believed that the Lord sends His angel around those who fear Him, and protects them. When the child given birth by Bathsheba died, David was not depressed. Instead he went inside the temple and gave offering to the Lord.

In Psalms 34:18, 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

This is the truth and hope each one of us should have in life.

Many a times each one of us have had near death experience and also faced several tribulations. It is a time to think how we have reacted then and how we react at present. David composed Psalms in times of trials and tribulations. This is not possible by ordinary men. Yet one phrase is possible by each one of us, Praise the Lord, You have protected me. The truth is in the rush of lives we often forget to do so. We most react by, My luck, I escaped. Did you ever stop and ponder to think where that luck came from???? Let us take a recap. To reach where we are today was it possible only through our efforts alone??? Haven’t we received blessings than those who have worked harder than us at times???Let us all give praise and express gratitude for all the blessings we have received like David. Let us all together praise Him, remembering that to dust we all will return.

Psalms 91:11-12, 11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

May these words lead you ahead in hope and help you remember His promise always.

AMEN