Archive for October, 2009


Matthew 13:11-17

“The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.


These days, as the weather has gotten cooler and the mornings darker, I find it a challenge to pull myself out of bed to hit the gym and then get to the devotional. The lazy season is upon us and cuddling in bed under the warm quilts has become more fun. As I sat to write this devotional and I sought the Lord’s help and direction, my request to the Lord was that he would open the lazy eyes of my heart and speak to me through his life changing words. It sounds coincidental or totally amazing that the words Jesus spoke to his disciples was about revelation of his words and about who would understand and I praise God that I am part of his kingdom and he speaks to me clearly and personally.

As we set about ministering to the lost sheep among us, one of the battles we face is that some of the people we share our hope and joy of Christ with may not accept and might be blinded to the truth. This is horrible because these are people we might love, might be friends, family or just dear ones and that is tough. However, we have to remember that success is not for us to measure because this is the Lord’s work and he is the one who determines what is success to him. Often times, we are only a cog in the wheel and we are part of the sowing, tilling, harvesting or other processes and God being the business owner orchestrates our efforts for his glory. Today I learned that I need to constantly seek God’s help in hearing him over the din of this world and following him over the desires of my heart. Hope you did too?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Every morning, I have to unrobe myself before the Lord, not in the literal sense but certainly of pride. I find that we as humans permit pride to take over our mind and selves and I am often reminded that with the Lord, it’s not about us but about Him and his glory. The reason I mention the unrobing is that without this act of submitting myself to God’s will, I find it difficult to write and this morning was difficult. The words that He laid on my heart are words that have often confused and worried me because it sounds so hurtful but I see it in His light this morning.

Jesus’ life on Earth was short and very specifically motivated. He was sent as a sacrifice from God the father and Jesus knew his time was short but the harvest was plenty. Therefore, his mission was to sow the seeds and cause a harvest and raise up leaders with a heart for God’s service. The arrival of his mother and brothers was not because they wanted to see him but because they wanted to ask him to come home and rest as he was hard at work. Jesus speaks in a spiritual sense to say that his mission was to be surrounded by those who loved him dearly and wanted to serve him for his glory. He therefore loved anyone who had a heart for God and that is us if we have given our hearts to Him. Hope you’re family!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet


Matthew 11:18-19

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

 

I’ve often wondered what could Jesus have done to have been universally accepted as the Son of God? Would being born as a King have helped? Would something as amazing as his arrival on clouds have helped? Would some astounding miracles surrounding him have helped convinced the world of his Lordship? What is is that we as mankind would accept God for being God and given him the love and respect He deserves?

It really does not matter because when our hearts are lost to sin, all we can think about is ourselves, our wants, our needs, our desires and just to have more and more. The need for a savior does not exist and anyone who makes these claims must certainly be crazy! That is what Jesus meant by today’s words. He came from a royal lineage but that dint matter to us, he performed miracles that no magician has ever conceived but it’s barely ever mentioned except in the Bible, he rose from the dead and that dint count either because we dint want to serve anyone else but ourselves. We want a genie in a bottle more than a Lord over our lives whose yoke seems very heavy for us self-centered beings. What would it take for you to realize what you are missing on by living for yourself? What is it that matters to you, the now or the forevermore?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet


Matthew 10:26-31

“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”


These are the words Jesus spoke to his disciples before sending them off on their journeys across Israel to share the gospel with God’s children. Every word spoken is so weighty and I dint know which one to choose but I ended up choosing this passage because of the assurance God gives us in it. My biggest fear in sharing the gospel is that I am embarrassed to talk to someone about something that might make me look and sound uncool. Talking about religion is so socially unacceptable in our times that it is now shunned in commercial media, at schools and universities, in offices, homes and just about anywhere you go. How then are we expected to live out the great commission of sharing the gospel with the lost if it is such a difficulty.

The answer is not in going for a toastmaster’s class or going to Bible school but instead, the answer is through prayer and knowing that we are going about God’s work, not ours. When I first thought of starting this devotional, I was embarrassed to invite anyone to read because I was worried my writing was not good, my understanding of the word was poor and many other excuses, much like Moses before freeing the Israelites. Once I asked God to lead me and realized this was God’s work, it became so easy and today it’s a joy. I may still not be a great writer, have a masters in Theology or be ordained to minister in the Church but I know that as I serve God, God gives me the wisdom and I’m just a glorified typist who is blessed to be entrusted with this work. It’s about God, not me! Until we get over the fear of man and recognize that it is not about us but about the one that saved us, we will live in fear and satan will rejoice. Now are you ready to give God a chance?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet


Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

 

As we continue through the book of Matthew, we see God’s power at work in the lives of those who are at the end of their rope and need a savior. In all this, there are skeptics always ready to point fingers and make a mockery of what God does and that is frustrating to read. However, we have to be careful about judging these skeptics because we have been skeptics and unbelievers ourselves and have probably shared in the sin of condoning God’s work and his creation. We are the reason he was nailed to the cross and every time we sin, it must seem to him like the nails are being pierced in harder.

However, to the Lord, knowing that he was going to be sacrificed like a lamb was not what mattered. His concern was to help those in need and to shepherd them in the right direction. This was and is his burden and his instruction for us to pray for more workers with such a heart is key to our prayer life today. We need to ask God to give us his heart to serve the suffering and pray for God to add more workers in his harvest field because there are so many more people in need of Christ and are waiting to be directed. The victory has been won by the Lord and the work of transforming lives is His and our part is to obediently follow in harvesting.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

 


Matthew 8:3,10,14-15,26,32
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy… When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith… When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him… “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm… 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.

The passages I chose today may not make sense in a single read but I hope you will read the entire chapter 8 to make sense of it. The reason I took snippets is to show you the thought I had when I read this chapter. First observation is that Jesus performed so many miracles and that’s no surprise. It says in verse 17, ‘this was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”’ I am certain there were so many touched and healed that the writers of the gospels couldn’t record everyone of them but the ones we read have something in common.

Jesus dint walk up to every sick and demon possessed person and heal them. He healed those in need of healing when they displayed their faith in his power and the need for saving. The leper, the centurion, Peter’s mother (Even though not shown but her service later shows her faith), the storm (This was to show those in the boat their lack of faith in him) and the demon possessed men. Again we learn today that what Christ wants from us is that we entrust our all to him and he will work through our brokenness. When we come to realize that it is not us and our medicines and our wisdom but that we are helpless without him, then our call to him is answered, if it is his will. Following Christ is to loose one’s self and if you are willing, then only should you call him Master or Adonai.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet


Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, which we started reading 7 days ago in the quest to go through the new testament, a chapter a day. I’m amazed at the wisdom recorded in these pages which is probably a summation of key points that Jesus spoke during his ministry. Words that don’t just make for good reading or something that we teach our children for their development but words spoken from the mouth of God whose very words commanded the whole universe into existence.

However, the Bible and its teachings are probably not what most people would like to live by because it does not teach about a God who would act as a genie in a bottle, it does not promise a life of luxury and comfort, it does not make us bigger, famous and more powerful people but instead, it does just the opposite. We do not want to live with knowing the reality of pain, brokenness and sorrow and we are constantly trying to move to places of comfort. Jesus, however, explains to us that he sees our pain and is willing to help us but only if we are willing to admit that we have pain and need help. If we want to live in oblivion to that reality, our lives will be like the house built on the sand and it will be destroyed by the forces of evil in this world. Lets build our lives on Christ, the rock and the foundation and not on satan and his ill-conceived notions of self reliance.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet