Do not lose sight of destination(The three wise men)

The Bible teaches us that during the reign of king Herod, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. A bright heavenly star shone that night announcing the birth of Jesus to the world. Three wise men followed the star and reached Judea looking for Jesus.

Matthew 2:1-2, After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

They were not prophets, rather the Bible teaches us that they were wise men. That means that these men had knowledge or were studying astronomy(stars).

The three men saw only one heavenly star among millions of stars that shone so bright announcing the birth of Jesus. Who was the child that was born? or Where he was 3333333born? These were the questions they were seeking answers to. When they had set out from the east they did not notice the star following them. As is human nature, the three wise men reached Herod’s palace searching for the King of Jews. When they reached his palace they asked Herod where is the baby who will be King of Jews? King Herod was scared on hearing their words. He thought he would lose his throne and kingdom. He was filled with doubts and suspicion. The sidetracking of the three wise men to King Herod’s palace instead of the manger led to the bloodshed of many innocent babies.

The three wise men who had gone on the wrong path were led by the star to the correct location where Jesus was born by the star. The star led the way ahead till they reached and shone where the baby lay. Matthew 2:9,After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

They gifted baby Jesus with gold which signifies King, myrrh signifies prophet and frankincense which signifies priest.

Dear children of God, we too make the same mistake. Everyone has the desire to reach Jesus. But getting caught in the snares laid out by the enemy in the form of temptations, lust, desire; we lose sight of our aim which is Jesus. We are aware of the consequences of what happened when the three wise men lost track of the right path to reach Jesus. No one can forget the way to their home. Then why is it that we lose way to our Creator.??

2000 years ago there shone the heavenly star, in remembrance of which we light a star in our homes and church. A star does not have light of their own, they only reflect the light of the sun.

Lord has said in John 8:12 , he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In Matthew 5:14, 14 “You are the light of the world. Jesus calls each one of us as the light of the world. This Christmas let us take light from Jesus(the sun) and shine forth like stars into the world. For this high education or position is not required. Eg: the apostles who were fishermen.

We hang a star every Christmas. After Christmas the same is removed and kept away. We fall back to our former lifestyle/nature the very next day. The three wise men received a vision from heaven to not return to king Herod. Matthew 2:12, 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Let us also make a decision that I will not go back to my former self this year and I will give up all that keeps me away from my Saviour, Lord Jesus. King Herod became disturbed when he heard about the birth of Jesus. May a star shine within us as well this Christmas. Even when we remove the star from our home , may the star within us never fade away. We believe that a star is the symbol of those who are spiritually awakened. May the star that shines within us this Christmas help us to be spiritually awakened. Instead of celebrating Christmas as a mere occasion to celebrate, may Jesus take birth in each one of us.

Can we justify suicide?

Grappling With The Rise Of Work-Related Suicide During The Pandemic: How To  Support Yourself And Fellow Coworkers

Suicide or killing oneself. I think its not just killing the body but killing of the soul too. Killing oneself or another person is murder itself. It is violation of one of the ten commandments written by the Lord. Proverbs 16:4,The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Jeremiah 29:11, 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. When a person commits suicide he/she is rejecting the Lord’s plan for us. There is no age, religion, caste barrier in suicides. The person who commits suicide does not think of the life ahead. Instead he/she is so wrapped in the moment that they do not think of anything else. They tarnish the names of their family and themselves.

1.Temporary mental stress/pressure: Some people experience stress/pressure from their immediate family or relatives which leads them to take this step. Some people take this as an escape route from family circumstances/differences.

2. Regret/Guilt: When a person commits a mistake unknowingly, many a times he/she is so ridden with a sense of guilt that it drives them to suicide. Some people make grave mistakes for making quick money which later leads to regret and makes them commit suicide to hide their mistake. Eg: Judas Iscariot. They hide their failure behind their suicide. Many a times the Lord gives us chance to rectify our mistakes, but we fail to recognize them. Without our knowledge we fall inti the trap of the enemy.

3. Suicide due to cowardice: These are people who lack the skills or capacity to face the various trials life puts forward before us. They chose this step to escape when they afraid. Some commit suicide due to fear of debt. They might escape but they forget that they leave behind their family to drown in an ocean of tears for life. These are people who do not have faith and hope in God. Revelation 21:8, But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” The Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 3:16, 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

Hebrews 13:6, So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

4.Family problems/Family indifference: Turmoil in family life and differences in opinion between husband-wife causes people to commit suicide. When husband-wives experience rejection of their love or neglect from respective spouses they take this step. Extra marital affairs and the name shaming makes people run to suicide to save themselves from shame, leaving their family behind. Proverbs 2:7, He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

Proverbs 9:17-18, 17     “Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Extra marital affairs are like forbidden fruits, tasty but one forgets its the snare of the enemy to the land of dead. Each relationship in our life has their place and importance. Husband-wife relationship, Mother-son/daughter relationship, siblings relationship and the relation between master & servant. The foundation of each relation is love, trust and care.

If parents do not set the right example/model before their children on how to lead a proper family life what will be the consequences can be best seen in the life of Eli, the priest. Even though he was a priest under the Lord, he was unable to lead his sons on the right way. Yet he raised young Samuel who was upright and God-fearing. Parents should raise their children not just healthy in body but also in mind and soul.

5. Depression/Aggression: There are several reasons behind this. People fall into infatuation thinking it to be love. When it ends in failure they are heartbroken and depressed . Suicide only seems the way out then. Immaturity and infatuation which leads to tasting of the forbidden fruit poses several problems which have no solutions. For eg: Teenage pregnancy, unwed mothers, failed elopement, fake love, etc. Some people commit suicide only to tarnish/malign someone else(suicide notes naming people). There are children who commit suicide under the pressure of their parents’ expectations. Many a times it is painful to see that the kids perform well in the exams/tests that caused so much stress.

Suicide is forbidden for a God-fearing person. We see it as a solution to many things, but it is not. The one who commits suicide goes to hell leaving behind the people on earth to live in eternal hell in their absence. Romans 8:35,35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

We take each step with caution and care. Dear brothers and sisters who are thinking of suicide, just one word to you, if you are astray or have lost focus of your aim, just step back and retrace your steps. Can you undo your actions after suicide?? Think???

Psalm 71:5, For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.

If you still have doubt/fear read this,

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Jesus is knocking at the door

Revelation 3:20 | Revelation, Revelation 3, Blessed is she

Revelation 3:20,20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Once there lived a devout priest. He was in the habit of saying his prayers thrice a day. In every prayer he expressed his desire to see God. One morning during his routine prayer he felt a presence around him. He heard a voice, ‘Dear son, Today I will be with you in your house’. The priest was very thrilled when he heard it. He cleaned his house and the surroundings. He prepared many tasty dishes to welcome the Lord and also gathered some fresh fruits. But the Lord did not visit him until evening. Instead there came three beggars at his doorstep. The priest was saddened deeply. He then went to sit for his evening prayers. He prayed fervently and complained to the Lord that the Lord did not visit him as said. He heard the voice again which came to him in the morning. The voice said to him,’ Dear Son, I visited your house thrice today. But son, you did not even offer a glass of water to me. Neither did you give me a set of your old clothes which I asked for. I was hungry and exhausted but you did not give me any food.’ The priest while waiting for the Lord did not give alms to the three beggars who had approached him, which was opposite to his nature since he earlier gave freely. At that moment the priest remembered the three beggars who had visited him during the day. Realizing his mistake, the priest wept bitterly. The voice came to him again. ‘ Dear son, what use is it crying now? I came to your door thrice but you did not offer me anything’. Mathew 25:42, For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.

Our Lord is the symbol of humility. He is one who asks of us and also loves to stay/live with us. He is a friend who rejoices in our joy.

1.Luke 5:3, He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. Here we see Jesus asking Simon(Peter) to set the boat out for Him to talk to the people. This is because Jesus owned nothing of His own.

2.John 4:7,When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” Jesus is asking water from the Samaritan woman whom the Jews did not interact with.

3.Luke 19:5,When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,  “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Jesus asks Zaccheus that He wants to stay with him at his house.

4.John2:2, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. Our Lord partakes in our celebrations and joys.

Dear children of God, haven’t we all become selfish in calling upon Him only in times of trouble and in times of need. Our Lord is a living Lord. He loves us and wants us to make Him a part of our daily lives. He appears before us in several ways, only that we fail to recognize Him. What use is it to cry like the priest then????

There is no time bound or time limit as to when our Lord will come to us. Revelation 3:20, says that the Lord came at the time of supper. There is something special about that time; everyone in the family comes together to eat at that time. Our Lord also wants to sit among us at that time.

The Lord can enter our house only when we open the doors when He comes knocking. Before opening the doors think, is our house worthy enough to welcome Him? If not, then eliminate the shortcomings to welcome Him. Sometime what we consider trivial might be a big thing for the Lord. Let us remove all the big and small issues from our lives that can stop Him from entering our houses. The Bible says that a house that welcomes Jesus as Saviour is blessed and filled with joy. Do not become one who denies/rejects these blessings. The opportunity once lost will never come back.

Mathew 27:19, Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man

Let us see an extraordinary event which happened more than 2000 years ago. Creation investigating the Creator. It was only fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophets. The power thirsty men are questioning the Creator of all Creation. In other words, the Creator stood helpless, alone and stood in silence before those questioning Him. The One without any blemish/flaw, the One who is hailed Holy by the choir of angel stood before them like a common thief, but in silence. On one side stood the mute spectators lamenting His situation. On the other side stood those who shouted loudly as if in a celebration. Our Saviour was marched from one law makers to the other. They took Him as a prisoner from among His disciples and then paraded Him between Annas and Caiaphas, the two High Priests , and then Pontius Pilate. John 11:50-51,

50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,

In the end they brought Him back before Pilate for the final judgement. The Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy and many other things. Yet Jesus spoke nothing in His own defense. While questioning Jesus, Pilate asked Him ‘Are you the King of Jews?’. Jesus answered, ‘Yes, I am’. Luke 23:6-7, On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was delighted when he saw Jesus. He desired to see Jesus perform some miracle in his presence. But here too Jesus stood before him in complete silence. Herod humiliated Jesus and called Him ordinary. He then had Jesus dressed in white robes and sent Him back to Pilate. Jesus was again questioned before Pilate, but since he found nothing wrong in Jesus, he wanted to set Him free. Pilate had the power to either free or execute Jesus. To pacify the violent crowd before him de decided to crucify Jesus. Pilate’s wife sent him a message while he was seated on the judge’s seat.

Mathew 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.”

The interference of this lady in the matter is rather extraordinary. What inspired this lady to have the courage to come forth ? Let us see.

1.Fame and popularity??? The name of Pilate’s wife is not mentioned in the Bible. She is only known to us as his wife. In today’s times people perform acts of kindness so that they are recognized and become known personalities. She did not desire name or fame is very clear in the Bible. She did not occupy any official position in the court also. She was only the judge’s wife. To stop her husband from being the catalyst to injustice she sends a message to Pilate because she could not do so in person. She had only one aim in mind which was to save the life of Jesus.

2.She believed that Jesus was innocent- This topic is something that should make us introspect and ponder, as well as touch our hearts. A huge crowd was shouting against Jesus, ‘Crucify him, Crucify him’. Jesus stood alone in the crowd. Those who had vowed never to leave Him too had abandoned Him and run away. Judas betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver. Peter denied Him before an ordinary servant girl. Pilate’s wife was not Jewish. Hence its nothing short of a miracle that she stood up for Jesus and saw a dream about Him when she did not even know Him. That means that lady loved and adored Him from her heart. That inspired and drove her to try to save Jesus’ life. Those were not modern times like today where husband-wives talk official matters and seek counsel/advice. Yet she approached her husband in his official matters. One should pause and think about this too. Why???

3. She tried to dissuade her husband from a heinous crime- Even though she was afraid to proclaim Jesus as Saviour , yet she believed and doubted that He was the Son of God. She tries to do her duty as an ideal wife. She wanted that the stains of the innocent blood of the Son of God should not taint and punish her family. It is normally said that family feud is usually due to women. An ideal wife/homemaker tries her best to make her husband and children live a life of principle and righteousness. Husbands like Pilate who run to please people and make self centered decision are a curse for a family. Mathew 27:18, 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. A good wife/mother builds a good family. A good family builds a good society. For eg: Do not be selfish like Queen Isabel(Naboth’s Vineyard). Instead we have blessed example too like the Mother in law-Daughter in law duo of Naomi and Ruth who are perfect example of ideal women.

May each women be able to shine like a beacon for her family as a daughter, mother or wife and lead her family in righteousness. Several women have good qualities but they do not make full use of it. Pilate’s wife is the perfect example for each of us that if we have grit and determination and a passionate heart, we too can achieve the impossible. May we too follow her example and lead the way in our families. Amen.

God’s Grace and Good News

Grace in theology means, “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it”.(Source: Wikipedia) I remember a short story by Rev. Chakunni. It was titled, The “Saviour in Chains”. Two Christ believers were talking among themselves at the home of one of them. There was a picture of Jesus knocking at the door of the heart on the wall. Looking at the picture one of them said that the picture would have been better if it was the other way round. The other man did not understand what he meant and asked him to explain. The man replied, There are several people who have accepted Jesus into their hearts. But they have all locked Him inside their hearts and closed the doors. Our Saviour is knocking at the door from the inside because they do not proclaim Him as the Saviour publicly. They have hidden the LIGHT OF THE WORLD inside their hearts. Dear brothers and sisters ask yourselves, have you also closed Him inside your hearts???? Romas 10:13-15, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Even though apostle Peter in the beginning disowned Jesus, He later proclaimed Him as Saviour when he was graced by the Holy Spirit. He spread the Good News renewed in strength and spirit. Acts 2:1-4,When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. When the apostles were blessed by the Holy Spirit they began to speak in different languages.

Acts 2:613,When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” But apostle Peter made them understand the Good News by his proclamation, Acts 2:30-31 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 2: 40-41, 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. When people heard his words, 3000 people accepted Jesus into their lives and were transformed.

Apostle Peter performed many miracles and wonders in the name of Jesus, Acts 5:15-16, 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

What we read was about apostle Peter who was the head of all. Now let us talk about two ordinary women. At the time of Jesus, the Jews and Samaritans did not mingle among each other. One day, after a long long journey Jesus sat down near a well in a town in Samaria called Sychar The well was near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. There came a sinful woman to draw water from the well. It was noon. Our Lord asked her for some water to drink. In between the talk they had Jesus revealed her sinful life before her which was not known to anyone. She dropped the vessel she was carrying for water and ran to the town of Samaria. And then she proclaimed all that had happened at the well. In the end she ask, Can He be the Christ? John 4:28-30, 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?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Due to the witness of this woman the whole town believed in Jesus and accepted Him. John 4:39, 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  In this way a sinful woman became a witness for Christ our Saviour.

Dear children of God now let us think another way. Had the woman gone back home with the vessel of water and the blessings she received from Christ, would the people of Samaria have received salvation??? There were many sinners in the town, but only one woman received the grace and forgiveness of sin, and hence became a witness.

Second, we can see Mary Magdalene. Lord had driven out seven demons from her. On the Sabbath day after the crucifixion of Jesus, she went to the tomb to cover the body of Jesus with perfumed oil and spices as was the custom then. But the tomb was open and the body of Jesus was nowhere to be found. She sat down brokenhearted and wept bitterly lamenting for her Lord. The one who knows our every breath knew her pain. He appeared before her. John 20:15-18, 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus appeared for the first time after resurrection before Mary Magdalene. Mary too shared the Good News of resurrection with the disciples and she too became a witness for Christ. Here too, she could have kept the Good News for herself.

Dear children of God we too believe and proclaim that Jesus is our Saviour. But how many of us can stand as witness for Him like the two women. Think.

We believe in a Lord with a Heart

The Politics of the Sacred Heart - Catholicism.org

Luke 7:11-15, 11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Our Lord is a loving Lord and one with a heart. He has a heart that not only feels pains seeing us in sadness and also weeps with us in our sorrows. Lazarus was very close to Jesus, he died. When he reached the place Lazarus was buried, he wept along with his sisters (John 11:35,35 Jesus wept.) Hagar and Ishmael wandered in the desert of Beersheba. An angel of the Lord appeared when she cried out in pain for her son who was thirsty. Genesis 21:16-19, 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. 17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. Our Lord sent Moses to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians when He heard their cries and anguish. Exodus 3:7, 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. 

Exodus 3:9-10,And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Priest Elkanah had two wives; Peninah and Hannah. Hannah was childless. Peninah used to taunt and mock Hannah about her barren womb. Hannah went to the synagogue and wept bitterly and prayed to the Lord. The all loving Lord heard her prayers and blessed her with a son named Samuel.

1 Samuel 1:13-16,13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Just like we forgive our children on earth, the merciful Lord forgives us our transgressions. Samson was born to fulfill the purpose of the Lord. But he committed adultery with Delilah and deviated from the Lord’s plan for him. His prayers were also answered by the Lord. We also read Jesus seeking forgiveness for those who persecuted Him(Luke 23:34, 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.) Who is capable of praying for those who mercilessly and persecuted Him and crucified Him.???It is possible to only Him who has a merciful heart, a heart full of love and is patient.

Isiah 49:15, 15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!

These verses are written for a Lord who has a heart like that of our own mother. This is not the one who gave us birth but the promise of the Almighty Father. Just like a mother who cries for her wayward child, our Lord also cries for us when we falter. Isaiah 1:2, “I reared children and brought them up,
    but they have rebelled against me.

Our Lord is one who is full of love, mercy and a compassion for us. We also know that He is one who hears our call. But think how are we as His children?? Each day our Heavenly Father warns us not to eat the forbidden fruit else you will die. He gave us statutes to walk in the right path. How much do we remember??? How much do we follow??? When our children show disobedience towards us it pains us. Similarly, Heavenly Father weeps in pain when we show disobedience towards Him. Children of God prefer the company of the enemy more than the creator Himself. Is that right, think???? What will be the end result do not wait too long to think about it??? Do not delay it for tomorrow. Tomorrow is not known to us. Think about it…

How to overcome your temptations??

Steps in which we can overcome temptation — WEKU
https://deals.weku.io/community-deals/@dayjee/steps-in-which-we-can-overcome-temptation

Luke 22:46, 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

There is no one born who has not faced temptation in some form or the other. That means temptations are not unnatural or unheard of. Even when the Son of God was born as man on earth, He too faced temptations in the hands of Devil(Matthew 4:1). Today in this technology driven and advanced world there is no dearth of opportunities for temptations, neither are the forms.

The intelligent and sly tempter(Devil) tempts and tests us without our knowledge. Many believers too at have fallen prey to the temptation to give up daily prayer and Bible reading for a day. They disregard it as a small matter and pay no attention to the thought behind this. 1 Thessalonians 3:5, For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain. Apostle Paul said these to the members of Thessalonica as a warning against the tempter.

Temptations are not sins in themselves, as they are natural and happen to everyone. It transforms into sin when we fall into temptation and keep repeating it having drowned in them. When the children of God seem to be complete and blemish free, Devil comes to tempt them and bring them to his side. Job 2, says that Satan is ready to argue with Father almighty against the children of God. Such is his audacity. He says to Father almighty that Job loves you and fears you because you have created a fence/defense around his property and him against evil which keeps him protected. He then proceeds to ask permission to test Job’s faith. He destroyed everything that Job owned/had. Yet he was unable to break down the faith/trust in the Lord. Let this be an example to the children of God. Ephesians 5:1, Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children

Then how can we overcome this great tempter?? Let us see..

1.Submit your body and mind daily before the Lord and pray: Romans 12:1, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. There are several types of prayers. Some pray in the heart, some pray in loud voices and so on. It is not hidden that even a sigh in the name of the Lord from His children reaches Him. James 4:7, Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

2 Peter 2:19, 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” We can overcome the temptations of the body with the help of prayers. A person who is unable to control his/her desires and temptations is called a worldly person. Let us all take a peek inside ourselves. Are we also like them????

Do not let your mind to be full of weeds/evil thoughts & desires. It is the thoughts/ desires of the heart that leads a person into action. If the mind is pure then the body is pure. Matthew 5:28, But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. We can all think that it was just a mere look, what is wrong in that? But the Bible very clearly states it is adultery. How? Through the eyes the mind begins to work.

1 Corinthians 3:16, 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? The end result of such desires is very severe.

2 Corinthians 10:5, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2. Regular prayers: Matthew 6:13, 13 And lead us not into temptation,   but deliver us from the evil one,

Matthew 26:41, 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The human body is weak, but the mind/spirit is very powerful. The best weapon to strengthen the spirit is prayer. King David having sinned prayed to the Lord in this way, Psalm 51:10-11, 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Satan brings forth our weaknesses before us from time to time to weaken our spirit and resolve. Peter compares Satan with a lion. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 17 pray continually,.. Remember that a lion catches prey on the sly.

3. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reside with you: Let us all pray for the Holy Spirit to reside in us and purify us. The Holy Spirit is fire. When a burning log touches even a dying ember of coal it reignites it. When the Holy Spirit fires us there is no place for Satan to step in. We should not pray for the web of sin to be removed rather we should pray that the spider that spins the web of sins in our lives to be removed.

4. Read the Word of God and ponder over it: The Bible teaches us in John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. When an object that is dirty is dipped several times in clean water it becomes clean both inside and outside. When we read the Bible daily and reflect on the words, it cleans our insides and outside.

1 Peter 4:17, 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Hebrews 4:12, 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

James 1: 21-24, 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 

So dear children of God think and reflect on these to overcome our biggest enemy.

The Treasure of Kingdom of Heaven

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Matthew 13:44-50, 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The Parable of the Net

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In the teachings/sermon given by our Lord Jesus Christ there are two topics on which He has spoken extensively. He tried to educate and teach the ordinary man about the Kingdom of Heaven through His parables. But man gave importance to the treasures found in this world rather than the treasures found in Heaven. Mark 10:17,

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” 28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

If you want to take something from the top shelf it is not possible without raising your hands. If one wants to receive gifts from above you would have to give up on several things. One would have to sacrifice on things. Today many people are ill due to various diseases like, diabetics, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. We are at times unable to give up some food items even though harmful. Similarly, alcohol, lust filled desires begin to grow roots within us. Some people often make jokes about the Kingdom of Heaven. the Lord has spoken very clearly about the final day of judgement. There is absolutely no doubt about what He has said will come true.

1. Matthew 13:44, 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. In this we read that Jesus has compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a field where there is treasure. A man sold all his belongings and bought the field. Such was his joy on finding the treasure. We too should have such joy for the Kingdom of Heaven and its treasure.

2.Kingdom of heaven compared to a pearl: Once a merchant found a precious pearl. He sold all his belonging and bought that pearl for himself. The treasures of Heaven are also as precious. We need to be ready to sacrifice for them.

3.Heaven is compared to the net that is thrown into the vast sea to catch fishes

In the first two parables Lord Jesus has compared the Kingdom of Heaven to treasures. He has taught us that we should give more importance to the treasures in Heaven rather than the treasures in this world. Luke 12:18-21, 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

In the third parable Jesus has compared Heaven to a fish net, which teaches us about the final days of judgement. In a fish net all types of fishes are caught. The fisherman then throws away the bad fish/ not edible ones back into the sea and separates the good ones. On the final day of judgement, Lord will gather together the evil and the good. But then He will select the righteous and take them away with Himself and throw the evil into the furnace of never ending fire.

Matthew 13:24-30, 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

In this we read that the man let the weeds grow along with the wheat. When it was time to harvest, he asked the servants to collect the weeds and then burn them, while the wheat is collected into the barn.

Everyone has the desire and hope of going to the Kingdom of Heaven. But the Lord says that only a few are selected. Dear children of God, think isn’t it time to repent and introspect within ourselves. There is no certainty about tomorrow. Let us pray with an earnest heart for help from the Holy Spirit. Pray that our names are also included in the Book of Life.

Let me share a story by Rev. Chakunni, a three year old child put his/her hand inside a glass jar with a small neck. The child had put his/her hand inside the jar to take out a coin that was inside. But the the child had held the coin in a tight fist and hence was unable to take the hand out from the small neck. Parents and relatives were all very upset seeing the child cry. The situation got worse and they were left with the option to break the beautiful jar.

By then a talented doctor reached their home. The doctor took out a really expensive doll from his bag and showed the child. ‘Ding;, everyone present heard the cling of the coin in the jar. The child left the coin that was in the fist and ran to the doctor to get the expensive doll. We too are like the children. We are running after the coins of this world and ignoring the precious gift of Heaven.

Philippians 3: 7, But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ has said the following about the Kingdom of God,

Mark 10:25, 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

Matthew 18:3, And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Now let us see what apostle Paul says about the kingdom of Heaven,

1 Corinthians 6:9, Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.

1 Corinthians 15:50, 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Galatians 5:19-21, 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:5, For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Beware of your friends

Companies Should Beware of Elicitation Tactics from Friendly Competitors

Let me share a story. Once a man had a pet parrot that sang well. When the summer season came he took the pet parrot outside his house and hung its cage on a huge banyan tree that grew in front of the house. The man thought that fresh air and sunlight would rejuvenate the parrot and make it happy. In the rainy season the man took the parrot inside the house again. The parrot forgot how to sing. Its voice was no longer sweet to hear. The parrot now had a hoarse call, like that of a crow. It was then that the man saw that the banyan tree on which he had hung the cage was home to crows. the parrot in the company of crows forgot how to sing, instead learnt how to crow. Hence, this story teaches us that no matter it is a parrot or a human. The company which we keep affects and influences our personality.

Let us see two happenings:

Genesis 34, begins with Dinah, Jacob’s daughter going out of her tent to befriend the Shechemites women. The result, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her and raped her. He was drawn towards her and wanted to make her his wife. But her brothers deceitfully killed every male in the city while showing the hand of friendship. Here we saw the result of Dinah’s actions, where she went outside in the absence of her brothers and father into an unknown land to make friends.

2 Samuel 13, In this passage we read about a friendship that led to ruin. Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her. His adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother advised him to trick Tamar to come near him. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. He plotted a plan. He asked Amnon to pretend to be sick and have Tamar tend to him. He grabbed her forcefully, Tamar said to him that if he asked David, they would be married off. But he did not pay heed to her words. He forced himself on her and raped her. After his lust had been fulfilled he hated her and refused to marry her. Being disgraced, Tamar told the truth to Absalom, her brother. Absalom asked her to keep quiet about this at that time. Looking for the right opportunity, however, he killed Amnon and avenged his sister.

Deuteronomy 22:29, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. This was the law as mentioned in Old testament. But Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.

We have read two happenings from the Bible. In the first one the foolishness of Dinah, caused the brothers kill every male in the city. In the second, Absalom was waiting for the right moment to kill Amnon. The atrocities against women is not something new or unheard of. It’s been happening since time itself. Today a lot is being said about women’s liberation. Yet there is scarcity in rape or sexual assault cases across ages. There is no restrictions in age anymore. There are infants to old ladies being raped across the world.

One thing that can be observed in some cases is that it is due to friends that the girl fall into trap and get cheated/raped. There are instances when boys engage in dirty talk among friends and also watch nude pictures and **ue films. Instead of engaging in such behaviour, if the youth earnest wishes they can bring about a change. For eg: In a city, three young boys were living together as flat mates. In that city it was known that **ue films and nude pics were circulated on the sly. The youth being pained by the action, went to the shopkeeper and requested him not to sell those anymore. But it was in vain. Yet the boys were not ready to give up.

The boy bought the full stock from the shopkeeper and burnt it in the city center. A huge crowd gathered there on hearing about this. Their act of bravery and principles/values inspired many other youth to follow suit. It brought about a change in the city. Many shopkeepers stopped selling such stuff. The young men and women in the city gave up things that polluted the eyes, heart, mind and soul. The brave act of the three cleared the atmosphere of the whole city. Romans 12:21, 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Has culmination of the ages come?

1 Corinthians 10:11, 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.

Psalms 78, This Psalms by Asaph also speaks volumes about the Israelites and their journey. He too is speaking a warning about those who flout rules of God. He says that these need to be passed on to coming generations.

The Book of 1 Corinthians chapter 10 begins with retelling of the misery of Israelites and how the Lord delivered them all. 2000 years have passed since Apostle Paul wrote this. God created man and gave him power/ authority over everything. Yet it was not enough for him. It continues even today. Man is not content with what they have. They cried while in slavery and were delivered. They were given heavenly manna for hunger. Water came out of a rock to quench their thirst. Their eyes were on the promised land of Canaan, while their heart was still in Egypt. They would recall the food and luxuries they had in Egypt. In no time God called Moses up on the mountain to meet Him. they forgot the God who had led them so far. They created a gold calf and worshipped it. Exodus 32:1, When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Exodus 32:4-6,He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

That day Moses had gone to the mountain and his absence made the Israelites commit a grave sin. Many followers died due to it. Jesus promised us that He will come back again and went back to heaven to the Heavenly Father. He taught us through several parables that the second coming would be unexpected like a robber or a master who leaves his home for a while and comes back without notice. Matthew 24:37-39, 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Seeing the many miracles that Moses performed under God’s power, the Israelites followed him. But they had not received the Lord into their hearts. Today we talk a lot about the wonderous acts of Jesus. But honestly ask yourself, how much place does He have in our personal lives???? It is high time that we pause in our rush and think, aren’t we living a life completely immersed in materialistic pursuits???? Think how many golden calves appear before us in our lives.

Like Moses and Aaron, we too have been given selected ones. But we disregard their words and teachings. In 1 Corinthians 10:5,Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.

Romans 13:11, 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

The above given verses give us a fair warning from the Bible.

John 14:2, My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

1 Peter 4:7, The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

God does not fallback on His words and there definitely will be second coming where judgement will take place. 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.

1 John 2:15-17,15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Matthew 13:41-43,41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

The above given verses from Bible were written not only as warning but as to impart us with the wisdom for the end of time. It is not the imagination of man, but the Word of God. There is no change to it. Believing in what is written let us live with faith that has deep roots within us. May the Holy Spirit strengthen you and me for this.

Amen.