Pride goes for a fall

Luke 18:14, 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

In the book of Esther chapter 1 we read that King Xerxes held a grand banquet in his kingdom of Susa. In the banquet he had invited many military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces. The banquet was held for seven days. On the seventh day, when the king was in drunken stupor, he asked the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. Queen Vashti was very beautiful. She did not accept the orders issued by the king. This infuriated the king. He took advice from his experts in law and justice about what action should be taken against the Queen. They said that the queen should be expelled from his presence forever and a new queen be placed on her position.

Esther 1:4 onward, we read that King Xerxes intended to exhibit Queen Vashti just as he exhibited his wealth and splendor. The description of his wealth and the banquet laid for the people are witness to his pride. He wanted to show off his queen also just like a property and not respect for her as a person. Queen Vashti violated the royal order, humiliated the king before the nobles and his subjects. He was undressed of his ego and pride here.

Queen Vashti too had organised a banquet for the women. The royal orders must have reached her when she was enjoying her time with her womenfolk. She did not obey the royal traditions nor abide by duties as wife and queen. She could have atleast send a letter to the king through one of the eunuchs. She didn’t do that also. She did not only violate the royal orders but also quiet upon it. As a result, her vainglory goes for a fall, she is stripped of her ego and pride. She lost the position as a queen.

In the book of Daniel 4:30, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”, we see that King Nebuchadnezzar say these words in his pride. Even before he completes his words the Lord says,

31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. His pride goes for a fall.

From the above given three people, we can learn a lesson. One day or the other we would be stripped of our pride. We should remember that the wealth and fame on this earth is fleeting and momentary, and a gift from God.

Luke 12: 16-21,16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

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.” Who can say that the source of life will say no to giving us new life??

Today in families, pride is killing the bond and connection between members. We today prefer to be showpieces or exhibits. To fulfill this egoistical desire, we borrow money to get things we might not need just to show them off. Jesus taught the lesson of humility to His disciples. He washed the feet of His disciples after walking for miles and even dried them. That is not what is expected of us. Life of humility and a humble personality attracts everyone. Humility/meekness is not weakness rather a strength and a step to victory. The thought of “I” in a person kills all the other virtues in him/her.

The virgin girl who was selected to be the mother of the Saviour of the world calls herself a servant of the Lord , Luke 1:48, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,…The result of her humility is that the world today worships her as the Blessed mother of Christ.

Proverbs 21:24, 24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—behaves with insolent fury.

Isaiah 2:12, The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled)

Home is where the Heart is

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Scripture passage: Mark 5: 19, 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

In Mark 5 we read about how Jesus heals a demon possessed man. So when he was healed and transformed he went to Decapolis and proclaimed what the Lord had done for him. He was possessed by Legion. On being healed he wanted to follow Jesus. This is the first time that after being healed Jesus asks the person to go home and tell what He had to others. The man who was possessed by many demons, one day came back home fully transformed and healed. A house, a family. and the whole village bore witness to the magnificence and grace of God. Let us see the condition he was in before Jesus heals him.

1.The man used to live among the graves: An ordinary man will not like to sit in a graveyard even during the daytime. But we read that this man used to live in a graveyard. Graveyard is home for the dead and not the living. James 2: 26, 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. Similarly we can see that the Holy Spirit was dead in him, instead he was possessed by demons/evil spirits.

Saul was jealous of the rise in fame and popularity of the boy, David. I Samuel 18: 8- 9, Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David. then we read, in 1 Samuel 18:10, 10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul.He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. The worldly desires make man captive to sin and temptations, as a result the Holy spirit leaves him/her. Holy spirit does not and cannot reside in an impure heart and soul. If man is to be a temple for the Lord, he/she needs to be cleansed and pure of all impurities.

Let us introspect and see which all evils have made a residence inside us. Love of power? Jealousy? Sexual desires?Sexual Immorality? Adultery? Drugs? Evil desires is the mother of sin and the devil is the father. Hence when you follow or becomes slaves of desire you do his bidding. John 8:44,For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

2. Mark 3: 3-5,This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. Each child of God is given yardsticks of the Ten Commandments to follow and observe in his/her life. Those who do not observe them or follow them reach a dead end like the legion possessed man. When we become captives by the devil we lose self control and are unable to be controlled or guided by others. We forget the way to our own home. Eg: The prodigal son, Luke 15:11, The younger son desiring freedom and independence from his father’s care and love, goes away from the protection of his father. He wanders aimlessly among several graveyards(World desires) and jungles(temptations). He became addict to sin and could stoop down no further. When he regained his senses, he remembered the happy life he led with his father. He repented and returned to his father. We do not read that the father forgave him. Because the father was filled with love and there was no place for his son’d mistake or transgressions. The relationship was broken only by the son and not by the father.

A word of caution to all those who seek freedom and independence from the chains of love at one’s home. Your loved ones and friends and the time you spend with them is limited. Make the best use of the time you have with them. The gates of your home and the eyes of the loved ones wait for you with open arms with unconditional love.

How are our homes? Like travelling in a bus?? Travelling together but not connected to each other? Not bothered or care about others in family? Each person has their own aims and preferences?? You can get down or climb on whenever you want?? There is no one to ask…. There is relation in homes. The absence of one person creates a void in the family. The Lord also says the same to the man, to be a good example to his family and his village.

3.He used to cut himself with stones: While working, a small bruise or cut can cause immense plain to us. And here was a man who was hurting himself with stones, unbelievable!!. Dead bodies are sent for post mortem where they are cut and studied. It does not hurt them as they are not living. He too was like a living dead, no feeling. If we hurt ourselves or if others hurt, the place for healing is our home. Return to your homes today. Days are fleeting by fast, you cannot hold them together and cannot get them back. And we do not know if we have a tomorrow.

There is a reverse side to this. If we are hurt at our homes, where do we go to for healing?? Those who go out looking for healing and relief away from home are later unable to return back even if they want to. Man names buildings according to the purpose it serves like temple, school, office, beverage shop, mall, etc. A home is where we live with our parents, siblings, children, and share our joys and sorrows together. A home is where we love each other, respect each other and forgive each other.

What the Lord Jesus said to the legion possessed is what He is saying to each one of us. Be a good example to your family/home. The best school for any person is their own home. Let us begin our lessons from our homes. May the Lord bless and prepare each of us for the lessons.

The Lord who never abandons-2

God created man in His own image, pure and of free will. But our first parents, Adam and Eve misused this free will and followed their desires. Those created as man desired to be like God Himself. They fell prey to the snare laid down by Devil, were cursed and lost everything they had. As punishment, they were sent out of Eden. They lost their relationship with the Heavenly Father and it still continues. Three things need to be taken notice of:

1. Beware of temptations/traps: 1 Peter 5: 8, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. If there are angels in heaven , there are devils lurking in every corner on earth. Angels guide us on the right path and devils take us on the wrong path. We all here two voices inside our head; one voice says that don’t do that, it’s wrong (inner conscience), and the second voice says it is alright since everyone does it (devil). 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.” One who falls prey to the temptations of devil, becomes a slave to the devil. One can read about this in a book “Doctor Faustus” by Christopher Marlowe (PDF attached) Psalms 78: 1, My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. These are the lamentations by our Heavenly Father for us. The teachings of our Lord and the word of God are our only shield against falling prey to temptations. So understand them well, remember them and follow them with your whole heart. Romans 13:9, The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” and in Romans 13:14, 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. The Lord clearly has given us His commandments and also what He expects from us His children. The root cause and beginning of every sin is desire, and the sin by our first parents is an example. The Bible says in 1 John 3:8, The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. The decision lies with us to make wise choice: whom do we select, Our Father or the Devil.

2. Admit your mistakes when you are wrong: 1 John 1: 8-9, If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Adam and Eve hid themselves when the Heavenly Father called out to them in the garden of Eden. They were not willing to accept their mistakes before Him. They blamed each other for the mistakes. Adam said in Genesis 3:12-13, 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

We also read in 2 Samuel 11:1 onward about David and Bathsheba, wherein we see the sin he commits succumbing to carnal desires. In 2 Samuel 12 :1 onward we read how prophet Nathan rebukes David through a story which was meant to make him understand his mistake. Understanding his mistake and its gravity, David wept in repentance and sought forgiveness from God. In his repentant ways he penned down Psalms 51, which begins with a cry of mercy and grace from the Father. The devil even dared to tempt the son of God, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Matthew 4, we read about Jesus being tested in wilderness. Jesus defeated him with the words of God. May the word of God be our weapon also.

3. God’s loving care and protection: Due to sin, our first parents who were as innocent as children, realized that they were naked. They made clothes for themselves out of leaves. Heavenly Father clothed them in the skin of an animal. The animal most probably must have been a lamb. This was the first sacrifice that took place. This was just the beginning to the plan Father had in mind to rescue us all through the sacrifice of His son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. 1 John 3:8, …The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. And in John 1:29, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! These words were said by John the Baptist when he saw Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus through the parable of the prodigal son teaches us all that the return of the son was his acceptance of his fall and mistakes. Father even before listening to him speak, kisses him and hugs him close to his bosom. He dressed him in new clothes/robes and gave him new slippers, removing the filth of the world from him. He put a ring on his finger reinstating him to the position of his son. The father celebrates his return forgetting everything. The same love and acceptance is seen in the parable of the lost sheep. Luke 15: 6-7, ….‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. This is what the Father in heaven expects us His children to repent and accept our mistakes before Him.

Children of God, there are eyes which are waiting for us( Heavenly Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Virgin Mother) and hands as strong as iron in Heaven. We don’t know if we have a tomorrow. Wake up and retrace your steps from the wrong ways.

Let me tell you a story: A shepherd had many sheep. One lamb from his flock was very naughty. Due to his naughty nature, the shepherd faced a lot of difficulties. One day the lamb while crossing a rocky cliff fell down and broke its leg. The shepherd bandaged the leg and hugged the lamb close to him and reassured the poor lamb. He gave it food and water, and carried it around on his shoulders. He didn’t let it walk on its own. The lamb, on receiving so much love and care from the shepherd, changed its ways. It became an obedient lamb and followed the shepherd everywhere.

If a lamb can change so much with love, are we any different from it?? Are we without gratitude?? Why do we children of God become children of Devil?? Lets introspect into ourselves. Whose child am I?? Father in Heaven or the Devil?? If you say Father then, the acts and deeds should also be in accordance. Let the Holy Spirit fill us and guide us in the right path.

AMEN.

The Lord who never abandons-1

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Deuteronomy 31:8, The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Yahweh, the Lord decided to destroy the city of Nineveh due to their wicked acts and sinful nature. But more than their destruction, He desired a change of heart and soul. Lord sent the prophet Jonah in their midst to prophecy about the Lord’s decision. Lord said three things, (Jonah 1:2, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”) their sins have reached up to me; go and preach. Jonah did not approve of the decision of the Lord. He knew very well that the Lord is patient and highly merciful. If the people had a change of heart then his prophecy of destruction would be false. The priority of ‘self’ or ‘I’ was more in Jonah than saving the whole city of Nineveh, including all men and animals. Following the Lord’s instructions, Jonah set foot to travel. But instead of travelling to Nineveh, he went to Tarshish. Jonah must be having his own explanations in doing so. Man violating the instructions of Lord is punishable. Who is man to go against the wishes of the Lord?? Jonah’s experience is a lesson for all of us who go against the word of God.

God rocked the ship that Jonah sailed upon with heavy storm and rocky waves. To lessen the weight, the sailor started to throw the loads into the sea. What do we children of the Lord do when our life boat is rocked by turbulent winds of sin and desires?? What should be done?? Do we throw away the sacks of sins and resume the journey in the right direction?? Jonah was sleeping peacefully when the ship was being rocked. Are we also sleeping blissfully like Jonah without a care in this world?? Wake up and think where am I going??

This is the state of affairs in many of our homes.Even if the family gets caught in the midst of stormy times due to their own actions, he/she sleeps peacefully. Due to God’s anger on one person, God could have destroyed the whole ship. Only if God could open the eyes of Jonah’s in our own lives/ homes. Alcoholics, drug addicts, sexual immorality, pride, selfishness, anger, hatred, slaves to these cause pain to those around them. If only God would open their hearts and eyes. Jonah admitted his mistake and was ready to take the punishment for it. Jonah recognized that this was all the Lord’s doing.

Jonah said to the fellow sailors to throw him into the sea as he was the cause of the turbulent seas. Jonah was thrown into the sea. The Lord has a plan for everyone, similarly, when Jonah was thrown a whale was waiting to swallow him up. This is a warning for those who go against the wishes of God, their way will be stormy and many fishes will be there to swallow them up. Jonah cried out loud. Merciful Lord heard his cries. the whale spit Jonah out at the place the Lord had decided upon. Can you believe that a man was inside a whale’s belly for three whole days.

Our family is like a ship. The world is like the ocean. When our ship sets sail it comes across high waves and stormy weather. At these times we say that the Lord has forsaken us. When the ship goes the wrong way, it is the Lord’s way of bringing us back in the right direction by tossing us here and there. God left Jonah on his way. He reached Nineveh. The Lord does not desire the destruction of sinners, He waits and wants a change/transformation of the heart. The Lord has set many of His people to guide His children in the right direction. Lord desires us to bravely say what is the truth without fear of reactions and repercussions, looking squarely at the faces. We do not know what tomorrow holds for us. What if we would not be given a chance for repentance??

Jonah preached in Nineveh. The whole city, from the king to the ordinary man and animals repented from their sinful ways and asked for forgiveness. Seeing their repentance, Lord’s anger melted, changed His decision and did not destroy them. This experience teaches us that even the words one person is enough to bring about change of hearts in people. We do not know whom the Lord will use as an instrument of change. May the Holy Spirit fill us with power to be able to say the truth in the word of God.

Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 41:10, 10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Routine or Habit?

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Since the time we mature or are able to understand, we often hear the terms routine or habit?? Making a few things as habit is a good thing. Yet on the other hand some things become bad habits. Let us see three good habits:

  1. Prayer: Every religious denominations says the prayer in their own ways. In several Hindu homes we can see there is a puja room. In truth, it is a welcoming sight. In our homes we have a dining room/area, bedroom, living room/TV room. When a guest comes visiting we receive him/her with such aplomb. But do you have a permanent place or atmosphere for prayer to receive??? When we sit together for family prayer, we should remember the promise made by Jesus Matthew 18: 20, For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Our Saviour is true to His words; First, He is part of us when we sit together for family prayer; Second, He desires that we come together in His name; Third, we should pray in His name, John 14: 13-14, 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

2. Jesus used to pray before every duty: Luke 22: 39-46, 39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Similarly in Luke 6:12-13, 12 One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.

Have we made this a habit? Do we pray to our Lord before the start of every duty??? A heartfelt prayer said from the bottom of the heart can make miracles. We can see the difference between those who trust their own potential and those who leave the results in the hands of the Lord, Luke 5: 5-6, Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

3. Worship, Confession, Holy Communion: The fourth commandment was the observe the Sabbath as holy/sacred. But some do not observe it seriously or follow it wholeheartedly. Nowadays, it can be seen that people attend worship as a routine or do not attend out of boredom. To attend the worship on Sunday, we prepare ourselves through the week. Those regularly confess their sins and partake in the Holy Communion receive the opportunity to return to the Heavenly Father just like the prodigal son returned to his father. John 16:8, 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom, said the thief on the cross. Jesus replies, 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” The thief received salvation when he accepted his faults before the Lord and shows us the way that a true confession is the road to deliverance and salvation.

Forgetting the presence of our Lord, attending the Holy worship service without purpose or attention, talking between the service and gossiping, sleeping/yawning, and attending without prior preparation just a word of advice for them: just attending the worship service does not mean you are abiding by the fourth law of keeping Sabbath sacred. The above said habits are equivalent to violating the law, are a cause of God’s ire and hence needs to be avoided or corrected.

4.Reading the Bible: Just as food provides nutrition to the body, the word of God provides nutrition to the soul. If made a habit, this can help protect our souls just as a vitamin protects the body. It protects from diseases of the soul. If one applies the word of God to his/her personal life, then remember that we walk together in His presence. 2 Timothy 3:14-17, 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

During childhood each parent should train them right and wrong through Bible stories. 2 Thessalonians 1: 10, 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. Jesus used parables to make people understand the deeper essence of things He spoke about. The word of God is the guide in our life. Proverbs 16:20, Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. And in Psalms 19: 8-10,

The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.

Jesus defeated Satan and He used the words of God, Matthew 4,

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

The first teacher for any child is the mother, prayer, bible stories like David & Goliath, Daniel, Joseph, Samuel, Jesus feeds thousands, Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son, etc are some that teach values. May the children grow in stature ans in grace of God with the seed of faith taking deep roots within them. May our children know and believe in Jesus. Let the word of God be the beacon for every family.

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.

What is the aim of your life dear believer?

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Everyone asks this question once, what is the aim of your life? For some its money, professional success, societal fame, international fame, etc. These are necessary for man I admit. But to reach them, man keeps running in circles without looking where he/she is going. Man turns back to look where he has come only when they have traveled ahead too far. By then you are stuck in the middle, unable to move forward or backward. Those who win the race are happy in their victory, but those who lose become slaves to addiction like alcohol and drugs to drown their misery. Then it becomes impossible to escape from the clutches of these addictions. Where does man go for mental peace, satisfaction and contentment? There is only one way; the way of God.

Some people do not have any aim/goal in life. They like to splurge and live a luxurious life. I read a befitting story about such people a long time back. In America there is a lake Erie that meets into Niagara waterfalls. One day a vulture found a body floating in the lake. It sat on the dead body and forgetting itself, dug its claws into the body to eat the flesh. Just when the body reached the tip of the falls did the vulture realize that it was about to fall. It made desperate attempts to fly. But by then the claws had dug deep into the dead body and were not coming loose. The vulture died falling into the waterfall along with the dead body it was feasting on. Those who become too engrossed and involved in the material world and the worldly desires, often fall into the waterfall of bad habits and addiction and die. Try to escape before the fall.

All who are born have to die one day. But does everything end with death? No, the Bible says. Matthew 16:27, 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done, says that the Son of God will come down with His angels, and judge each one according to his/her deeds. God has given full freedom to chose what we like. But what we should chose should be done diligently; this world or the heavenly abode above? Jesus is true to His words and He will come again. That day if you want your name to be among the selected let us see what needs to be done.

John 3:3, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”, we read unless we are transformed we cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. Similarly, John 3: 15-21, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. It says that all those who believe in Jesus should do good deeds or else they will be tried before the Heavenly Father. Romans 10: 9 , If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It says that you need to proclaim Him as Lord and you will be saved. But remember that it is not mere words but needs actions as well. Let us see how

  1. Live a pure life: The book of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

But there is no lesson on living pure life which means that one needs to have pure thoughts and live a pure life always. In Galatians 5:16-17, 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 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.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Hence we see that we either follow the flesh or the spirit.

Then we read in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. So dear brothers and sister be mindful of your thoughts and actions because what you say or do is to the sacred temple of the Lord.

1 John 3: 3-10, All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

2. Love each other: 1 John 4:7-12,Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. The Lord teaches us to love each other and to see His image in each other. This was His commandment:John 13:34, 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Jesus does not ask us to name our neighbors, But he asks us how is our relationship with them. He does not ask us how big is our house, rather He asks how many people can seek refuge in our house. Jesus narrates to tale of the good Samaritan and teaches us who is a true friend in Luke 10: 30-37.

In conclusion read, Matthews 5: 7,Blessed are the merciful,  for they will be shown mercy. Be merciful to each other, to find mercy with Lord.

3. Follow His commandments: Solomon is known as the wisest among the wise. In Ecclesiastes 12:1, 12 Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—

We read that if we lead a sinful life in our youth we cannot expect to reach Heaven. Yet again He says in Romans, 13: 8-10, Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Can you follow this??

A Christian is a pilgrim on earth and his pilgrimage is seeking Heaven. Moses led the Israelites, Jesus leads us. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the light of the world. In 1 Timothy 4: 7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

In conclusion to it all, follow,

Ecclesiastes 12:13, 13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.

Do you believe in the resurrection of Christ?

Image by Raheel Shakeel from Pixabay

Who was Jesus? Was He just an historical person? An ordinary man?? Or the Son of God?? Christ believers firmly believe that He is the Saviour of the world. He was born to save all of mankind from the pits of sin, John 1:29, 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! With the death of Christ, He brought the estranged sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father back to Him. He still acts as inter-mediator on our behalf to the Father. He will come again just as He was resurrected, Acts 1:11,11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” And the same is written in Luke 24: 5-7,In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

Jesus chose twelve disciples during his life, and one of them was the betrayer, Judas Iscariot. One Thursday evening, he betrayed Jesus for 30 silver coins. Jesus was arrested, the disciples were scattered like flock without shepherd. Even Peter disowned Jesus thrice that night, that was the fear in him. Jesus had already instructed His disciples about His death and resurrection. But they failed to accept it properly, Matthew 16:21-22, 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Peter dew back from the staunch faith he had otherwise displayed. He returned back to his former job as fisherman and so did two other disciples,John 21:2-3, Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “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.

Just as they had withdrawn to their old job, they lost faith and in disheartened spirit locked themselves inside a room. Jesus after resurrection appeared before them and said, “Peace be with you all”. That day one of the disciples Thomas was not present. When the others told him that they had seen Jesus, he did not believe them. He said I won’t believe until I see him with my own eyes. Jesus appeared one day when all of the disciples were present. He clarified the doubts that had taken home in the heart of Thomas, John 20:26-31, 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

When the chief priests heard of the resurrection of Christ they devised an evil plan to make it seem like a ploy by disciples. But it did not have any credibility.Matthew 28: 11-14, 11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

What happened to the disciples who were locked inside the room out of fear? Those whom they feared, before them the disciples appeared like lions roaring and said, The Christ whom you crucified has risen and we are His witnesses. Where did they get the strength to preach the world of God to nations, homes and people.

They were witnesses to the resurrection of Christ. Here it is:

Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:24 & 32, Acts 10:41, Acts 13:31, 1 Corinthians 15:15, 1 Corinthians 15:49 , Luke 24:48, Acts 3:15, Acts 5:32, Acts 10: 39, 1 John 1:2, Acts 22:15, Acts 23:11, Acts 26:16, John 15:27.

Where did they disciples get so much strength from that they were ready to accept any form of punishment? They were arrested and beaten brutally. Nothing could dampen their faith or spirit. They were renewed in strength and faith with every torture. Acts 5: 40-42, 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Their preaching in Jerusalem is to be observed carefully. 1 Corinthians 15:5, Jesus appears to the 12 disciples after resurrection. In Acts 1:3, After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God, we read that He appeared several times before them. These verses made a believer out of disbeliever and filled them with Holy Spirit that they continued in faith despite numerous tortures.

Crucifixion was considered as the worst form of death penalty.Peter, James, Andrew, Philip, Simon,Bartholomew were crucified. Matthew was murdered with sword, Thaddeus was killed by an arrow, James, brother of Jesus was stoned to death, Thomas was killed by a spear, Zebedee son James was killed by a sword and John had normal death.

Crucified disciples did not die on the cross like Jesus, rather they were crucified on an inverted cross as they felt undeserving to stand next to Him and wanted to kiss His feet in death. They came out victorious from their death having died as witnesses to the truth the fought and died for. Today there are millions who believe and proclaim this truth. Even today we have several martyrs who die for Jesus. 2000 years have passed but His preaching still are with us. Can a lie have so much shelf life and sustain?? Will anyone die for a lie??? Answers with the one reading this ……..

Hatred, the cancer

We have often heard that he hates even looking at her. God created man in His own form and breathed the breath of life into him. Being formed in God’s own image and having the breath of life, how did the cancer of hatred take a place inside man??? Different people have different opinions. The answers are revenge, jealousy, intolerance, lack of love and patience. Thus hatred builds home inside us. But the Bible teaches us in Galatians 5:22, 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,  forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Hence hatred is the working of the devil we can say. Eg: Cain and Abel. Both the brothers offered sacrifice to the Lord. But Cain’s offering did not please God and Abel’s offering was pleasing to God. This developed jealousy in Cain. The result was Cain killed his own brother Abel. Love was replaced by hatred and jealousy.

Jacob deceived his own brother Esau twice. He even deceived his father and took the blessings of the first born. This caused hatred to take seed inside Esau and he pledged to kill Jacob. Hearing this, Rebecca sent Jacob away to her brother, Genesis 27: 41-44. He worked hard and toiled in the fields of Laban for more than 14 years. After which he returned to his own land. Jacob bowed down before Esau seven times as an act of asking forgiveness. Esau hugged him tight and wept hard. His hatred melted away as tears. Genesis 33:10,…For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.  Jacob is seen saying that he says the Lord’s face when Esau is merciful towards him. This shows that mercy and forgiveness can melt away even the hardest walls of hatred.

Hatred, the cancer is a curse for both family and society. Proverbs 10:12, 12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Revenge, jealousy and hatred are brothers. They destroy families and societies. These feeling when filled inside a person, they lead to fierce anger and hatred. And the only solution to them is love.

Let’s ask ourselves: What did we gain by building hatred? What did we lose in the process?? There is no gain, but loss; mental peace and unrest in heart , and injures the soul. Those whom we loved dearly become distant. It leads to murder as well. Cain and Abel are examples of what hatred can do to you. Jacob says he saw God’s face in Esau. See how love transformed a person. Let us also water the seed of love and pull out the weeds of jealousy, anger, hatred. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide us.

Ephesians 4:26, 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and in 4:32,32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Let us pray that the Lord strengthens us to be able to break away from the shackles of hatred that Devil likes to chain us in.

Who is a woman? Where is her shelter? In Jesus.

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

Scripture Passage: John 8:2-11,

At dawn, he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

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

In this passage, the decision of Jesus is very clear. He does not condemn her like the others because He is not here to punish, rather save the lost souls. He came as the light for the souls drowned in the darkness of sin. The same is seen here. She is fully transformed as a new creation. Jesus did not come for the death of the sinners, rather for their healing and repentance/transformation. John 8:12, 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” and Psalms 27:1, The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? This light can help drive away darkness from our lives and guide us to lead a holy life, Psalms 25:8, Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his way. This is the reason for the birth and sacrifice of Jesus.

Now let us talk about the adulterous woman. Th woman who was accused of adultery asks everyone present, “Did I commit adultery alone? How did I become an adulterous woman??”. There is an equally adulterous man involved with the woman who committed adultery. But our civil society deliberately does not bring him to light. Have you ever heard of a woman molesting a man?? Whereas a woman in molested and harassed each hour. She either commits suicide or else joins the dark side of flesh trade. The men who committed the gruesome crime live a respectful life as at times the women fail to disclose them out due to fear of shame. At that time when Jesus asks those present that anyone who has sinned may throw a stone. The prick of conscience is so hard that no one steps forward and drops the stones, Matthew 5:28, 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If Jesus were to come today among us, how many among us can receive Him with a clear conscience?? Those who are ready to point fingers at others should stop and think.

At that time, the sinful woman was used to trap Jesus and even today in the society this dirty trick is still followed. Women are used as used baits or ploy to trap men. We pride ourselves that we have progressed as a society in all areas. But have we really progressed towards the treatment of women and the narrow-minded thinking we show them, 1 Timothy 5:2,older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Each day how many women face molestation/rape and how many are killed as fetuses even before birth just because they are girls. If a man has to take birth, he needs a woman. Insulting a woman= insulting your mother, if only one would think like this!! Man is no better than the animals, both have the same traits now. Man has lost all humanity.

Matthew 22: 23-30, 23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Look at the man’s heart!! Here we read that a woman had 7 husbands. After death whose wife will she be?? The question is asked by someone who does not believe in resurrection. But with respect to a woman, in a man;s heart she is only an object of lust/desire or an instrument for reproduction. Even after death, a woman is not to be left alone!! How pitiful!!

Luke 13:11-13, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Here we read how Jesus heals a crippled woman. At that time, the woman was able to stand erect because of Jesus’ healing. Even after the passing of centuries, women still face many cripples due to restrictions and situations or rules/laws, that have been created by men for their convenience and dominance. Man likes her to live a crippled life with four walls. Even the so-called self-proclaimed liberal and modern thinking men have not changed from within, to be honest. It is hard to digest/ accept for a man that a woman becomes free/ independent and has an identity of her own. They become highly insecure.

Ever since a girl is born, she is told that one day she has to go to another house and make it her own. And then one day with or without her permission, she is sent away in marriage. Parents feel relieved of having unburdened themselves from a huge responsibility. Marriage is like a honey-laced sour food. The moment the sweetness wears off, bitterness is all that is left behind. She tries her level best to become part of the new family. But try as much as she may, she is always seen as an outsider. A person with a hunch/crippled back cannot see what is behind them and around them. Similarly, a woman’s cripple can be healed by the husband. But most often than not he adds to her cripple/hunch and pushes or bends her further down.

It is an often heard phrase, “Women are not street/world smart”. It is because of the loads on her back that she bends and is crippled. So how can she see her surroundings and the world with the crippled back. The answer should come from those who use this phrase. Marriage is the union of two people. But in reality one person mostly devours the other. And with that women lose their identity and womanhood, and gets trapped in a world without self identity.

While praying a barren woman would also ask for a son and not daughter. Girls are seen as a burden and not equals. A fetus draws blood and life from a woman(mother) and grows within her for nine months safely. Even after birth children draw upon her blood and sweat. They do not happen to love her without selfish intentions now. A woman sacrifices her day and night for the welfare of her family and others. Is there anyone who would love her and respect her, and care for her someday?? There is no gender discrimination in entering the kingdom of God, and both men and women have equal rights as said by our Heavenly Father, Praise the Lord. Genesis 1:26, 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… The thinking needs to change. Women are not safe today in their own homes. Man uses her just as he uses any other product. This perverted thinking has left her in a crippled condition bonded in chains.

Jesus came as a relief. Even today He is. This I believe. He became the instrument of hope and tolerance for each woman. One touch from Jesus can heal any situation. Even if everyone pushes her down, there will always be two hands to lift her up. He is our refuge, only Him forever and ever.

If you are not doing the right thing, sin crouches at your door

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Scripture Passage: Genesis 4:3-7, In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

These lines have been said to Cain by the Heavenly Father. The situation in which these were said is where the brothers Can & Abel offer their sacrifices to God. God is pleased with offerings of the younger son, Abel. God is displeased with Cain’s offerings and refused it. This causes jealousy and hatred in Cain. His face is forlorn and upset. Seeing this, God asks Cain why are you upset (Genesis 4:6).

God almighty warns Cain that sin is at his door, he should be able to overcome it. This is what the Lord warns each child of His. The moment God’s presence moves away from Cain, Satan enters his heart. Cain asks Abel to come to the field with him (Genesis 4:8,Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him). Innocent Abel did not see the poison or deceit in his brother’s calling and follows Cain, who kills him.

The all knowing Lord comes before Cain and asks him, where is your brother? Genesis 4:9, Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”.There is no regret or remorse in Cain for murdering his own brother. Satan inside him must have said that you’ve done the right thing by eliminating your enemy and competition. Man again falls into the trap of the Satan. First through the mother then through her son. The result, the mother, eve is thrown out of the garden of Eden along with Adam. The son Cain is cursed to wander the earth. Even today Satan follows us in various forms.

These events happened several years ago. First Satan tempted with the forbidden fruit. Then he entered in the form of jealousy. First he came crawling like a snake, but when he came again Cain did not recognize him. Today how does he come before us? In the form of worldly gains, beautiful people?? think of Eve here, Genesis 3:6, When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. It should be possible to each of us to say no to temptation and evil company. When the mind is tempted by forbidden fruit we should remember the words of Jesus, ” Satan, leave me alone.”

If we feel envious or jealous of the prosperity and progress of our brothers and sisters, or their children, then beware. It is the working of Satan.Our Lord asks us to step over it and overcome it. There are two voices that come from within us-“Do” & “Don’t do”. Satan always says “Do”, when we do something evil, whereas the Holy Spirit calls upon us, ” Son, Daughter don’t do”. At times the reverse also happens. It is not about overcoming the power. It is also about who we surrender to and who overpowers us. The moment you feel that your steps are faltering, immediately reach out and hold the hands of Heavenly Father. Often we have fallen and have seen others fall. When we fall down either we ourselves get up or seek help from someone or hold on to something and get up. Psalms 91:11-12,11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Let these words be your strength to rise everytime you fall.

In the book of Joshua 6:18, we see Joshua warning the Israelites not to take anything that is to be destroyed. Yet Achan took some things, Joshua 7:21. God gave up on Israelites because of their greed which had led Achan to take the undeserved wealth and things that were to be destroyed. There is nothing hidden from God. Achan and his family is destroyed in fire. Because of the greed of one man, the whole family is destroyed.

2 Samuel 13: 1-21, Here we read about Amnon being in love with his half sister Tamar. Here too Satan enters in the form of his best friend Jonadab, who advises him to play dirty to fulfill his desires. Instead of advising Anon to cleanse his thoughts, he tells Amnon to set a trap which results in molestation of Tamar. It does not end there. Satan resurfaces in the form of revenge in Absalom (2 Samuel 13:28-29). Under the order Absalom, his servants kill Amnon. In one family itself adultery and murder both take place. Children of God Be Alert!! Watch out for his approach. Be strong and send Satan away.