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.

At the feet of the Cross

Matthew 27:56,56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

John 19:25-27, 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Let us go to the feet of cross.

1.Those who were present there: Let us first see those were present on Jesus’ side. The Bible says at that time those present were women these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Only the book of John says that John the disciple whom Jesus loved was standing nearby with Mother Mary. At the cross Jesus handed Mother Mary to John as his mother. Then he took her to his home.

Those who were present with Mother Mary at that moment were people who had been blessed by Jesus and received His grace. Let us think and ponder about Mother Mary here. Mother Mary was a Jew. She was betrothed to be married. In those times if an unmarried Jewish woman became pregnant before marriage. The consequences were very brutal. Deuteronomy 22:21, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you. Disregarding the risk involved, Mary handed herself to the will of God. That was just the start of her walk on the path of thorns. At the time of full term pregnancy, just a young girl then she travelled on the back of a donkey to Jerusalem. The Prince of heaven and the Saviour of this world could not even get a room for His birth. He was born in a stable among animals.

Joseph received a vision in sleep that king Herod was trying to kill the baby, hence flee to Nazareth. That night itself he fled to Nazareth with Mary and baby Jesus. The son who was supposed to be the strength during her old age was mercilessly flogged and beaten like a common criminal. He became the object of mockery by the Pharisees, high priests and those who hated Him. She had to see Him spat upon where His holy face was to be kissed with love. He was crowned with thorns and hit hard with a flogger. His whole body was bleeding profusely and pieces of flesh came off even as the Roman soldiers flogged Him. His holy body was unrecognizable under His bloodshed body. They next placed a heavy wooden cross on the tired and completely worn out Jesus. The helpless mother stood at a distance and had to watch her loved son fall down seven times in exhaustion from carrying the cross of our sins. No one saw the tears of blood flowing from that mother’s heart.

The Roman soldiers played dice to see who would get the robe Jesus wore that Mother Mary must have made herself. They nailed Him to the cross with long nails at the hands and feet which she must have kissed several times as a kid. Her heart must have broke into pieces at her own helplessness when she could not even offer water to Him when He said ,’I am thirsty’. She saw Him die on the cross before her own eyes. When they placed His dead body on her lap, she must have recalled all the events since His birth till His death like a replay. Dear children of God. Pause. Think.

We are prosperous. He delivered us from our sins. But what about Mother Mary??? She walked on thorns then and continues to walk even today. For her walk on thorns today we are the reason. We have become children who only remember and speak about the crucifixion of Christ without any regards to the pain He went for us. The Mother sitting next to her Son, sees us jump from one sin to another. We too stand only to be blessed by Him like the others. She weeps in pain seeing that her son’s sacrifice is going in vain. No one likes to walk in the path shown by Jesus. Heavenly Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit and blessed Mother are all in pain due to us.

2. Those on the enemy side: Those who stood against Jesus were the one who loved power/authority, those who were jealous and those who were looking for an opportunity to kill Him. These people had eyes yet were blind. They had ears but were deaf. they were opportunists and lacked moral value. They twisted and used the prophecies of prophets to suit their purpose and motive. These people became scared when they heard about the resurrection. They made the soldiers spread the rumors that the body was stolen by the disciples. When Jesus died the curtain in the temple of Jerusalem tore down into two pieces from the top to bottom. Mountains shook. The sun lost its shine and the sky was dark for some time. Many dead prophets were raised to life. They turned a blind eye to all this as if nothing had happened.

3, The disciples of Jesus: These disciples had once said they were ready to even die for Him. But what did we see. One betrayed Him into the Roman hands. Except for John the other ten disciples went hiding into a small room. The news of resurrection was shared to the disciples by the women who wen to the tomb. They rushed to the tomb and seeing what the women had said was true they returned back. Peter, whom Jesus had appointed as the one on whom He would establish His church forgot his duty and returned to his former life of a fisherman. the others too followed suit. John 21:3, “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. The Lord did not leave them alone. He appeared before them several times and strengthened them in spirit. He promised them that He would be with them till end of time. Matthew 28:20, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

4. The two thieves: The two thieves were not at the foot of the cross but on either side of the cross. The thief on the left mocked him like the rest. The one on the right proclaimed Him to be the Son of God. Blessed, he was promised by Jesus that he would be with Him in Heaven that day. We too can be blessed with this promise. Decide now where do you stand??? On the left??? Or the right??

Now let us ask ourselves. With whom do we stand??? With the Pharisees??? With Mary Magdalene???? Or with the thief on the left side???? If you ask me, I would say that like the thief on the right side I would like to ask for forgiveness and seek forgiveness. Now take a moment and think for yourself.

Christian Living and Corrections

Since childhood if there is one thing that we do not like to accept or hear is correction. Be it from parents, siblings, friends, teachers, even small children do not like to be corrected. Many families have broken down due to this nature since even though we know that the correction is right we do not like to hear it. Proverbs 9:8, Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.

Proverbs 29:1, Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
    will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

Proverbs 29:15, 15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
    but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

These Bible verses teach us that reprimanding/correcting those we love is our duty. Similarly, it is the duty of those who listen to these to follow them or else bear the consequences.

Let us have a look at two disciples:

1.PETER: Peter was also one of the disciples who followed Jesus when He called out to them, ‘Come follow me, I will make you fishers of men.’ He was impulsive and hot-headed. Matthew 14:25-33, we read that seeing Jesus walking on water, Peter desired to walk on water unlike the other disciples. Peter asked Jesus to ask him to come to Him. Jesus said to him, ‘Come’. Peter started to walk on water. The moment his gaze shifted from Christ, he began to drown. Jesus rescued him but reprimanded him calling him, ‘You of little faith’.

Matthew 16:23, we read that at the Last Supper Jesus speaks about His capture and death. Peter speaks that he will never let that happen. Jesus corrects him again like a child and says to him, ‘Go away from me, Satan’.

When Judas came with Roman soldiers to capture Jesus, Peter cut off one ear of a soldier. Jesus yet again reprimanded him on his action. Jesus was taken to the high priests for further questioning, it was only Peter who followed Him at a short distance. If not for the love of Christ then what made Peter take such a risk??? Matthew 26:35, We read that Peter says to Jesus that he will never forsake Him and will die for Him. Peter had proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus had said about Peter, You are the rock upon which I will establish my church. Yet this very Peter couldn’t stand in front of a servant woman who said he was with Jesus. He refuted her claim. When Jesus turned to look at him, he remembered the words of Jesus that before the cock crows thrice you would disown me. Peter couldn’t bear it, he went out and wept bitterly. In this way, Peter who stepped backward several times, Jesus made him the catalyst of change for Christian community.

Peter realized his mistakes and corrected them also. He uprooted the weed of going back from his life forever. Today the world knows him as the primary mark of Discipleship.

2.JUDAS: We can believe that like everyone else, Judas too loved Jesus. What Judas desired was a king who would give him the riches of this world. Lord Jesus did not use any such chance since that was not what He came to earth for. Judas understood that his motives/desires will not be fulfilled. Satan took advantage of this weakness. Satan hardened his heart and used this weakness against him. Jesus knew the inner working of Judas’ heart very well. John 6:70, 70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”

Mark 14:21, 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.

Even after hearing such painful words, Judas did not turn. He did not make use of the chances of correcting himself. The Devil inside did not die.

At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of all His disciples. I can’t help but think that it must have been Judas’ feet that Jesus must have washed first. John 13:18,21: 18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’

21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

Luke 22:3, Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.

Even then Judas did not have a change of heart. He left to the palace of the high priests to collect the ransom he placed for Jesus.

When Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans, Jesus addresses him as friend, Matthew 26:50, 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” He is the best example of a back stabber/betrayer of trust. After the arrest of Jesus, Judas is no where to be seen. Fear and sense of guilt had taken over him. He went to return the money he had taken, but they refused to take it back. He threw the money to the floor, went away and hung himself. His life was one of who lacks any hopes of revival.

Even though he knew very well about the patient and forgiving heart/nature of Jesus. He did not reach out to the feet of the Lord seeking forgiveness. Had he repented and fallen to the bleeding feet nailed to the cross, he definitely would have received deliverance. Satan had taken hold of him so much that he did not see light at the end of the tunnel.

Jeremiah 4:14…. wash the evil from your heart, so that you may be saved. How long will you go on thinking sinful thoughts?

Both the disciples alike spent their whole time with the Saviour. one of them realized his mistake and corrected himself. The other betrayed his teacher and then committed suicide. He committed one sin after the other. Time after time those who correct us, we should not mock them in our hearts or complain about their correction. Rather like Peter we should take corrective steps. Just like the eyes were upon Peter, similarly His eyes are upon us also. He called Judas friend whereas He calls each one of us by our names and call us His child.

Who is it that we make our example then??? Are you among those who nailed Him to the cross and crucified Him and doing so daily??? Dear children of God you can ignore the words of those who care for you but can you run from the wrath of the Lord?? Every night before you sleep think and ponder over the words and action that you have spoken and done.

It is not possible for the Lord to take flesh and stay with us till the end of time. That is why we have family, teachers, priests, word of God, etc as our guide and mentor. The one who created us also knows our weaknesses. The word of God tells us in

1 John1:810, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.

Think that those who encourage or become partner in crime really love us??? Or those who correct us??? Think….

The Light of Faith | Jesus art, Sacred art, Kiss painting

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

LiftMyEyes | "I lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where does… | Flickr

Psalms 121:1-2, 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.

Everyone on earth seeks helps from some or the other in times of need. The great leader like Moses who led the people of Israel from Egypt too sought Yahweh for everything big and small. He did not depend on his physical prowess or intellect alone. He did not depend upon any human help. In the face of death from the Egyptian army and the vast sea in front, Moses did not falter. It was because of his deep trust and faith in the Lord. Exodus 14:13-14,13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

When King David looked around himself from the rampart of his castle, all he could see were the mountain range and their rooftops. He did not get scared or depressed seeing the sight. He lifted up his eyes up above the mountains. He lifted them up to the maker of the mountains. He praised the Lord who brought him from being a shepherd to being a king. He remembered the way he had left behind. He placed his trust in the Lord believing that He is the most powerful of all. Let us see what were the hopes of David:

1.The one who helps in the journey forward: David had full faith in the Lord who had led him so far. Hence he was able to look at the savior beyond this world. Let us think about ourselves. Where is our sight placed??? Like David or like Peter. Peter began his journey looking towards the Lord Jesus Christ. But when he lost sight of the Lord and looked at the world around him, he was about to sink. Psalms 73:2: But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.

1 Samuel 2:9, He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
    but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;

Is our helper and guide Lord Jesus??? Is our path the path of salvation??? Think. If Lord Jesus is our guide then even if our feet falter He will rush to our side and lead us back to the right path. Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

2.The one who never falters: The person who cares and looks after a child the most is the mother. Has there been any incidence when mother has faltered?? Psalms 121:3-4, 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.

To deliver us sinner from sins He sent His only Son to pay price of our souls with His own life. Even though the world may leave us, He will never leave our side.

3. One who helps us in every situation: Psalms 121:5-7,

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;

Psalms 91: 2-7, I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you
.

There are many waves and tides in the sea. Similarly, in the many waves and tides in our daily life the Lord almighty also guides us always in every situation. We know that the sea and the wind obey our Saviour. In Mark 6:31, 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Let us also recharge ourselves by going to a place in silence and talk to Him in prayer.

Once an evangelist had to stay at night at an unknown place. He prayed to the Lord since he was alone at an unknown place. He took the Bible and opened it. What he got was Psalms 121. He read the part that said he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

He lifted up his eyes towards heaven and said, Lord you never sleep. You keep looking after me. Hence both of us need not be awake. Saying this he slept peacefully like a child.

Psalms 4:8, In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

Trust in the Lord and have faith He walk along every step.

Do not let the Holy Spirit within you weaken

What gives us strength? Acts 1:8, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Our enemy Satan is not only cunning and shrewd but powerful also. Genesis3:1, Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. Satan defeats us by using our weakness against us or by creating weakness. Eg: Job, Satan asks permission from God to test Job’s faith. He took away everything from Job, his wealth, health, children… Job 2:67, The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Seeing his afflictions his wife asks him to reject God. To this Job replies in Job 2:9-10, His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” This is just an ordinary man. Satan does not leave even the Son Of God, Matthew 4:1,Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

In the Old Testament in the book of Judges we can read about a man named Samson who was filled with the Holy Spirit. Samson’s power were beyond human imagination. He killed more than thousand men with the bone of a donkey. He was so powerful that he killed a lion as easily as a lamb. He tied together the tails of 300 wolves , lit it with fire and let them loose into the fields of Philistines to destroy their crop. Judges 16:4, Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. He committed sin with her. Satan worked towards his down fall through her. Lured by the beauty and charms of Delilah he disclosed the secret of his powers lay in his uncut hair locks. Delilah gave away this secret to the enemy camp of Philistines for money. Delilah put him to sleep and then cut off his hair on the sly. The spirit of God left him and he lost all his powers. He became just an ordinary young man. So what happens when Holy Spirit leaves us. Let us see.

1.Loss of Freedom: The Philistines caught the most powerful Samson and chained him down like an ordinary stray dog. He was held captive and ill treated Judges 16:21,21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 

2. Loss of sight: Judges 16:21, 21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. His lust led to loss of his goal since birth, Judges 13:5, You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

Isaiah 52:11, 11 Depart, depart, go out from there!
    Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure,
    you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.

2 Corinthians 6:16, 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”

17 Therefore,

“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”

When the Holy Spirit left him he did not just loss human sight but he lost sight inside, his soul.

There is always hope in us because we know our Lord is patient and ever forgiving. The Philistines having captured Samson made a mockery of him, Judges 16:25, 25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. They put him chains and tied to a pillar. He cried out to the Lord repenting on his sins and asks for forgiveness. Judges 16:28-30,28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

Dear children of God when the mind pulls you towards the forbidden, just remember the experience of Samson.

Isaiah 52:1-2, Awake, awake, Zion,
    clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
    Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
    will not enter you again.
Shake off your dust;
    rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
    Daughter Zion, now a captive.

Isaiah 55:6-7, Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

The Lord Jesus Christ appears before those who seek Him from the heart

John 20: Jesus and Mary at the Tomb | Jesus resurrection, Jesus, Mary  magdalene

John 20:14-17, 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

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.’”

In the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke we read that after the crucifixion of Christ. At the third day before dawn three women, mother Mary, Mary Magdalene and Susanna went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus with oils. In John 20:1 onwards, we read that Mary Magdalene reached the tomb while it was still dark. According to the customs of the Jews, after the death and burial of a person, they come and prepare the body with perfumed oils. There was huge danger/challenge before the ladies who were going to the tomb of Jesus. They were all alone in the presence of Roman guards, and there was a huge stone which covered the mouth of the tomb. Matthew 28:7, Luke 24:5 , we can read them discussing as to who would help them roll away the huge stone.

Yet when they reached the tomb, they found that the stone was rolled away to one side of the tomb. While they were in distress and despair, disheartened over not finding Jesus. they saw two men dressed in white sparkling clothes who told them that Jesus had risen. they ran and told the Good News to the disciples. They ran to the tomb and seeing that what the women had said was true returned to their room. Mary Magdalene kept crying in despair at the tomb. When the disciples huddled up inside a room in hiding, why did Mary Magdalene stay behind in tears??? Let us think….

1.Strong determination and focus: Mary had gone to the tomb to follow the customs and put oils on the body of Jesus. But her desire did not happen as the body of Jesus was not there. The happenings of Friday ran like a scene in her mind while she was going to the tomb. Her Teacher(Jesus) was the only person who loved and accepted her unconditionally. She sat crying broken hearted at the tomb like a child who had lost her father. She experienced being orphaned by all, an isolation and loneliness so painful it cannot be put to words. She sat down with a firm determination that even though she didn’t know what happened to the body of Jesus. She would not return without getting to the roots of what had happened. The strong desire of her heart rooted her feet to the place of burial. Knowing the inner workings of the heart, Lord Jesus Christ appeared before her. She was the first person to have the blessing of seeing Him first after resurrection. John 20:16, 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

2. Valued Jesus more than her own life: Mary Magdalene did not fear or deter seeing the Roman guards. Even after seeing the empty tomb and other leaving, she did not leave the tomb. She stood her ground that she would look for the body of Jesus and on finding it, she would take it away. John 20:13-15, 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 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.”

Today believers all over the world are willing to shed tears while remembering the persecution and crucifixion of Christ. Yet no one is willing to spare time to think that the Saviour was wounded from the soles of his feet to His head for our sins. Neither do we ponder over our sins and shed tears asking for forgiveness or in repentance. Mary stood their before the tomb because her sins were forgiven. Let us cry asking for mercy to forgives us our sins. This would help rescue our souls.

3. Mary found Jesus and is entrusted with a task: The Lord was powerful enough to come out of a closed tomb. the tomb being open and the presence of the two angels was for the world to believe in the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. Lazarus was in a tomb for four days after death. He came out of his tomb on just one call by Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing which is impossible in the eyes of the Christ. The Saviour calls Mary by her name. She immediately recognized the voice and responds, ‘Teacher‘. The Lord has said that people would recognize my voice. How true are His words!!!

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

Lord entrusted Mary with a task for her sincerity. John 20:17, 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.’” In this way Mary Magdalene also became an evangelist.

Let us ask ourselves a question: In between the rat race/ hectic life, how much time do we spend in the presence of the Lord with a broken heart and spirit asking for His strength. Mary recognized the voice of Jesus in just one call. Similarly, Lord Jesus is calling each one of us by our names. Can we hear and recognize His voice in the never ending noise pollution that surrounds us??? Is it possible for you and me to proclaim that He laid life for me and you on the cross for our transgressions, and that He resurrected from he dead on the third day???If not then our faith is a failure, it is on vain.

1 Corinthians 15:17, 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

Adoni. Jesus | Jesus pictures, Jesus, Christ

Two Demon-Possessed Men

Matthew8:28-34, 28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

In the above verses we can read that when Jesus reached the region of Gadarenes He met two demon possessed men. they lived in tombs. We all know that living men do not live in tombs. The homeless too live and sleep in bus stands, on footpaths, or other such places. The people who go to tombs/graveyards are the keepers of graves or those who are present to pay their respect and prayers to the departed. No one in their right mind would live in tombs.

Though they were humans on the outside, they were devil inside. Since they were demon possessed they had the behaviour of that of a demon. The Bible says they were violent in nature. Due their nature people avoided using that path.

The Son of God was born as man to save our lives, and they persecuted Him and crucified Him on the cross. Yet we can read that the demon proclaim Jesus as the Son of God in Matthew 8:29, “What do you want with us, Son of God?” Realizing that their time is up, the demon sought permission from Jesus to go into a herd of pigs that was feeding nearby. They went into the herd of pigs and the pigs jumped off the cliff into a lake and were drowned. It was not a matter of concern for Jesus as to whose property were the pigs or what was their value. He gave importance and priority to the destruction of removal of the demons and to save the people around who were suffering due to these demons. What happens next is thought provoking. Those who were tending the pigs rushed to the town and told others about what had happened. The townsfolk all together asked Jesus to leave their town and go. The people of Gadarenes rejected the Son of God and the blessings He had in store for them.

We can remember another townsfolk here. Many accepted Jesus as their Saviour after hearing the words of a sinful Samaritan woman. John 4:42, 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” Even today there is a huge crowd who are perfect impersonation of these two type of people. Accepting and some Rejecting. Blessed are those who accept Jesus as their Saviour. They have eternal life in heaven. the words of Jesus are never false and they all happen without fail.

Today, we can see many people around us. When you look at them it is difficult to recognize that they are demon possessed. Their demonic nature can be seen in their violent and atrocious acts against angelic infants, helpless women and delicate aged women, whom they tear apart and kill them for own pleasure. These people are worse than the wild animals. It is not possible to compare them with the wild animals. We cannot see such cruel acts of the body among animals.

Every human being has a soul. We can only think what would happen to the soul such people. Romans 6:23, 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 2:5, But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Romans 6:11-23, 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace….

A word of caution to those who fall prey to temporary pleasures of the body, Ecclesiastes 12:7, and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

It is not possible for the Holy Lord to reside with the Devil. Their place is in Hell.

Isaiah 6:3And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Revelation 4:8, Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’

who was, and is, and is to come.”

Let us pray that no man goes to hell and does not let demon reside in him/her.

HEALING OF TWO DEMON POSSESSED MAN - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v18ie90zvJA

What is the solution when you start doubting in faith?

Faith can be seen. Faith is defined as believing in God… | by Christopher  Toh | The Alternativists archive | Medium

In John 6 we read that John the Baptist was not afraid in speaking up to King Herod and telling him that its not right of him to marry Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John the Baptist was fully aware of the consequences of speaking up to the king. Yet John was not afraid or disturbed by it. John was put into prison for this. In the end he was beheaded by deceit. John the Baptist was not an ordinary man. It was next to impossible to kill him so he was killed by deceit. This is what happens to those who stand for that which is right.

Let us ponder a while on Psalms 73. This Psalms was written by Asaph, who was the chief of the musicians of the musician guild of the Temple. He begins the psalms with strong faith that the Lord is good to those who are pure in heart. Then in second verse he speaks that he almost lost his footing and lost his hold. He felt jealous of the wicked since he saw that they did not have any suffering.

The wicked are arrogant, bullies, mockers and lived their lives as such. the Bible calls them people who live without God. They increase in wealth and live a peaceful luxurious life. Asaph is seen asking himself if he lived a holy and righteous life all in vain.

Asaph did not speak his mind to anyone neither did he sow the seed of doubt in the mind of others. He remembers the struggles and tribulations he had to endure. He self consoles himself and does not share the thoughts with anyone else. He think out aloud that if he had shared his thoughts with others then he would have wronged the coming generation.

Yet he yearned to know why is that the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. Today we too are like Asaph. Haven’t we all also been self doubting???When we are in self doubt we must always remember that we can cause others also to have self doubt in faith. The solution to this Asaph saw was to seek the presence of the Lord and reach to His feet.

Psalms 73:27-28, 27 Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.

When Asaph saw the solution he reprimands himself by accepting that he was foolish. Psalms 73:22,22 I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.

And he again proclaims his faith in the Lord Psalms 72:25, 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Dear children of God it is very normal and natural to have self doubt in our faith. But when in doubt do not turn your steps into the ways of the Satan. Do not abandon the Lord. Like Asaph seek and fall into the presence of the Lord Almighty. In the Old Testament we have many examples of iconic people having doubt in faith. Eg: Elijah, Moses backed before fulfilling Lord’s instructions; Number 20, the people of Israel started to crib against the Lord and asked Moses for water in the desert. Yahweh asked Moses to ask water from the rock. Even after having performed several miracles under Lord’s hand, Moses doubted if the rock would give water. He struck the rock and it gave forth water. But seeing the doubt in Moses, Yahweh says to him that since you had doubt in me you will not set foot in the promised land of Canaan.

Psalms 1:1,Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,

Dear children of God, when we doubt the Father Almighty we cause deep wounds in His heart. Jeremiah 32:27, 27 “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Isaiah 59:1, Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.

Children of God should have a steadfast heart is what the Father desires the most and looks after them till the end of age. He is with us through all generations.

Proverbs 3:12, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in
.

Proverbs 25:26, 26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
    are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

Download free photo of Angry, scream, emotion, mouth, gun - from needpix.com
Download free photo of Angry, scream, emotion, mouth, gun - from needpix.com

Proverbs 8:6, Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

1.Say trustworthy things: Today man has a lot of topics to talk and discuss about. There is eloquence and expertise in language. Yet no one pays much attention that what they say is trustworthy or lacks trust. Man has now become faster to speak and slower in listening. Trustworthy or untrustworthy, the words from our mouth do not come in one day. What we make a habit from childhood is what becomes a habit in adult life as well.

James 3:2-12, We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Why are the children of God today talking things which are unsuitable and untrustworthy like a sewer line that carries only filth and waste of the world. Yahweh had instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the people that if they do not turn from their evil ways He would destroy the city into a rumble. Jonah though at first did not follow order, later he went to Nineveh and told the people that if they didn’t repent in the next 40 days their city would be no more. His words made a huge impact and the people of Nineveh from the king to animals went into fasting and repentance. Just as the Lord called Jonah by his name, He is calling each one of us by our names.

In today’s times the words that need our attention and time are those that tell us about our sins and how to repent from them. Listen carefully and follow the words.

Romans 1:16, 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

We cannot become like St. Paul neither can we bring a change of heart in one lakh people. But we are capable of proclaiming the words of our Lord that HE is the way, the truth and the life.

2.Open your mouth to speak only what is right: In today’s consumerist time, the right word/talk is a joke. Today even children are capable of twisting the truth to suit their interest. Each person should pause and think that from morning till we go to bed how many times do we open our mouths to say the right thing. We can observe five types of tongues around us:

  1. The tongues that likes to lie
  2. The tongue that like to please people/praise
  3. The tongue that speaks rumours
  4. The tongue that speaks only evil/criticise others
  5. The tongue that boast of himself/herself

Proverbs 21:23, 23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

A man’s heart is deeper than an ocean. Be it in a family, among friends or at workplace, he/she is well talented to be able to hide hate, envy, jealousy and dislike for others and all the while keep on a smiling face speaking good to others. Must say that this too children are learning from young ages from their own homes.

Proverbs 15:2, The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

One of the characteristics of Job that the Lord praises before Satan is that he was righteous and always said and did what is right.

Proverbs 26:20, 20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

Some people derive evil pleasure by causing a storm by their gossip and rumours. Without verifying what they hear is right or wrong people too spread them like a deadly virus. But what these people fail to realise is the harm that their words cause. Also if someone tries to correct them he/she becomes their enemy.

Proverbs 23:16, 16 my inmost being will rejoice  when your lips speak what is right.

Proverbs 10:13, 13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

Proverbs 26:28, 28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

If you are hit with a rod/ stick the body bears bruises which get healed over a period of time. Yet when hit by words it bruises the soul and heart which cannot be healed.

Psalms 39:1, I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked.”

Let us also be able to pray like David.

Psalms 141:3, Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.

Dear children of God, a honeybee is a very small insect which can cause immense pain if stung. Yet it produces the sweetest honey. If you transfer the contents of one vessel into another what comes out is what was inside the vessel.

Sirach 5:14-15, 14 Don’t get a reputation for being a gossip, and don’t tell tales that will hurt people. Just as robbers will suffer disgrace, so liars will suffer severe condemnation. 15 Do nothing destructive, whether it seems insignificant or not,..

Children of God, now when you open your mouth to speak, pause and think about what it is that you will be putting out into the world.

Ecclesiastes 7:29, 29 This only have I found:
    God created mankind upright,
    but they have gone in search of many schemes
.

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Proverbs 8:11, 11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Proverbs 9:10,10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Wisdom is something that has spread its wings from one corner of the earth to another. There is no end to it. There is no one who can say that he/she has fully acquired it even after taking a swim in the vast ocean of wisdom. Experiences teach us that material wealth has life of that of a soap bubble. Here now and gone tomorrow. Terrorism. natural disaster, robbery, and things beyond human control can destroy physical wealth. Material wealth is something that lessens if we share it and even finish. Whereas wisdom increases when we share it. One who is wise will try to acquire wisdom along with physical wealth. If you are able to strike a balance between the two then you will benefit both on earth and in heaven since wisdom requires to balance them.

IN the Bible we read about the wisest among the wise King Solomon who had a vision from God in his dream. God asked him what he desires most to have. This is his reply. 1 Kings 3:9, So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” Whoever desires and seeks wisdom is blessed in abundance by God. Solomon was blessed not only with wisdom but also the riches of the world.

Proverbs 3:14-15, 14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.

Wisdom is received where there is discipline and reprimand, whereas a child left to his/her own ways bring shame to parents. Proverbs 29: 15, 15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. If the origin of a river is in the mountains, then if we go in seek of wisdom we would reach the presence of the Lord. Wisdom is light. Those who seek wisdom are loved by God and are easily recognizable by everyone. They shine with the wisdom and light from God.

Ecclesiastes 8:1, Who is like the wise?
    Who knows the explanation of things?
A person’s wisdom brightens their face
    and changes its hard appearance.

1 Timothy 6:10, 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

We can always see that those who have wealth are always under stress of either losing it or getting robbed. They lose sleep over it or don’t have time to sleep in the race to earn more.

Hosea 4:6,     my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.

Let us also seek wisdom to avoid falling into the prey of Devil and run the rat race losing sight of the spirit. Wisdom is the solution to avoid this trap. So dear children of God, what will you seek Rubies or Wisdom????