Archive for January, 2010


Acts 1:7-8
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.”

After covering 89 chapters in the 1st 4 books of the New Testament, we now start our journey into the book of Acts which was written by Luke. Jesus visited the disciples several times after his death and the disciples were trying to understand what Jesus’ plan was in terms of restoring Israel. Jesus however helped them see that he was not there to free them from the Roman oppression, rather, he was there to give them freedom from sin. Also, he was there to tell them what the future held in their calling as dicisples.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit enters us and directs our lives. The direction is different for each person and the course we take depends on our obedience. However, the purpose is always the same and that is we are all called as a new creation in Christ to witness about what the Lord has done for us to everyone around us, regardless of geography. We are called to be lighthouses in this dark world where our enemy is not fellow humans but the devil himself and the one solace we have is that this battle was won 2,000 years ago when Jesus rose from the dead and defeated Satan and sin.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Haiti Response

Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 in John, New Testament
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John 21:15-17
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep”.

On Jan 12, 2010, the tiny island nation of Haiti was shaken up by the largest recorded earthquake in it’s history with over 3 million people affected, over 170,000 dead and over 250,000 injured and homeless. This is a tragedy of epic proportions and it is wonderful to see the way the people of the world have supported the people of this nation and continue to do so. This morning, my classmate posted a link from the UK press which condemned Rev Pat Robertson who spoke on CBN’s 700 Club about the Haitian’s pact with the devil in 1791 in exchange for freedom from the French which might have been the reason for the country suffering to date. I was eager to respond to this but decided to reflect on God’s word to see what the Lord had to say.

When Jesus was crucified wrongfully, followers of Christ would have wanted to fight and rebel against the temple leadership and all those who caused this wrong. Even today, there are many who vehemently condemn the faith, Jesus and anyone who follows it and we would want to react. However, the Lord did not die but was raised from the dead as the scriptures foretold! Therefore, we have no reason to hurt and hate anyone because God was glorified. In the same manner, Christ visited the disciples 3 times after his death and dint ask them to avenge his death but rather to share the gospel with the world, to care for God’s children and to supply their spiritual needs. In the Haitian context, I believe we should be offering a hand through prayer, resources and any other support to show these people that the Lord loves and cares for them dearly.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Eyes Of Our Heart

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010 in John, New Testament
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John 20:21-23
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Last evening, we received a call from dear friends of ours that one of them had hurt himself and before saying anything more, I just knew I had to rush. I got there and got him to the hospital where we spent 5 precious hours together talking about the Lord and why God would permit this issue, knowing fully well it was for God’s glory. The Lord just confirmed to me now what we eventually discovered in the course of our conversation.

As humans, we generally believe only after we experience something through our 5 senses and this was the case for the disciples when they discovered Jesus’ empty tomb. However, with God, we are blessed to believe without seeing because we are to see with the eyes of heart and mind, which is an alien concept to most of us. This couple were hurt by a recent incident where they were not at fault. For some reason, I had the desire to tell them that they need to ask forgiveness from their oppressor for holding hurt within them because that is not what Chirst would want. It was such a treat to experience my good friend see through the eyes of his heart what God was speaking to him and those 5 hours were a real blessing. What is God speaking to you this morning?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 19:31-36
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs…These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

I love movies and the way they are able to weave stories that make it all seem real. What a lot of work it must take to write a script, cast the actors, chose the sets and locations, get the entire crew in place, shoot every last detail and hope that all of this adds us to a box office hit. Few become hits and many flop and so the story goes. As time progresses and technologies improve, we realize how the fine details are not so fine anymore as our eyes are now used to seeing things in better light. However, this picture of Jesus’ life and death painted in words in the gospels is unchanging and seems to be perfect in every sense. How is that possible? Were there some loopholes to the tale?

There are four cross references for verse 36 and they are Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20; Zech. 12:10. When you read these, you will note that the background refers to the passover lamb. Is it not amazing that Jesus is our passover lamb, perfect and unblemished in every way, sinless, righteous, and sacrificed for nothing but our sinfulness. How awesome is our God who is perfect in every way, and fulfills every requirement of the law to be our sin offering? For this God who is so perfect, don’t you think he does everything in a perfect way for his glory? Lets not grow weary when trials come our way because God will work perfectly in and through every situation in our lives for his glory.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 18:36-37
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

I’ve been enjoying following the Australian Open tennis tournament and have tried to watch a few matches over the last many days. One of the common themes I noticed was that commentators always tried to compare competing players by their previous history of games against each other and in the absence of that, tried to compare them in terms of a head-to-head analysis. Often, there is talk of revenge and today I read that a top seeded player actually expressed his desire for revenge. What’s that got in connection to today’s passage and is that right?

As I read Jesus’ response to Pilate, I noticed that with Jesus’ betrayal, his disciples felt the need to get back and react to the imprisonment of Jesus but Jesus stopped them. Jesus clarified to Pilate that neither he nor his people were opposing the arrest because this was not a matter of people not accepting his earthly leadership, rather it was his divinity that was opposed and therefore what was to take place was a battle of God versus Satan. This was the devil’s attempt at putting an end to Jesus’ life and ministry but the battle was won when Jesus beat death and rose up again and the devil and his ploys were quashed forever. We can rejoice in the fact that Christ rose from the dead to give us eternal life and we no more mourn his crucifixion or death!!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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To His Glory

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2010 in John, New Testament
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John 17:1-5
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

This morning will be my first day at work and for this, I give God the glory! Last evening, my wife were discussing how things have panned out for us here in this new land and we realized time and time again that it was God’s grace alone. He called us to move here and has started to establish us and we have already seen so many ministry opportunities and the one thing we kept thinking of is why? Why is God being so good to us because we certainly don’t deserve his goodness for our shortcomings? What can we do for God and is there any way to pay back??

This morning’s chapter was so loud and clear to me that we were chosen by God to serve him and to give him glory in everything. It took nearly 6 months for me to get this job but in this time, I have not felt compelled to leave, my wife and I have not had serious fights due to the tension, our resources have sustained and most importantly we were able to give God the glory. This is certainly not our doing but the Lord’s. We know that we are created to give Jesus glory like he gives his father and this father him. We can never repay God for his goodness because he does not need anything from us but our praise and love.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:22-23

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 16:31-33
“You believe at last!” Jesus answered. “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

One of the facts that amazes me about Christianity is the growth of the body to a point where today it is the most followed faith and continues to grow but so also do other faiths. What was it that helped grow the faith from a small following of 12 disciples to the millions and billions of followers today? When we read the passage above, Jesus himself warns the disciples of a time when they would be scattered and dessert him during his final moments before his crucifixion. What then happened and was all lost after that point?

Earlier in the chapter, Jesus spoke about the Counselor or the Holy Spirit coming in his place. During Jesus’ ministry, several thousands heard, saw and believed but after he went to be with God the Father, his Holy Spirit worked through the few faithful to reach out to the world. Is it not amazing that most of us who follow Christ are in places far and completely disconnected from Israel? I pray that today we will be encouraged to know that God can use us wherever we are as long as we are willing and continue to build his Church. Holy Spirit, come and work in and through us for the glory of God!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.