Posts Tagged ‘Assurance’


Acts 27:21-25
After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

Eventually Paul was sentenced to prison based on King Agrippa’s ruling and this began a treacherous but significant journey for Paul, the other prisoners, the guards and the crew of the ship transporting them. Against Paul’s advice, the centurion, based on the ship crew’s advice, decided to proceed to Phoenix because they believed it to be safer to berth the vessel there rather than Crete. Paul spoke up after many days of suffering in the storm and gave them an assurance of safety revealed to him by an angel of God. This might have sounded reassuring to those seeking God’s intervention or ridiculous to those who were cold to the very mention of God. What is God saying to us this morning?

We like to hear good things about ourselves and our situations and dislike being corrected. Paul’s initial warning might have sounded silly to anyone who had no faith in Paul or his God or to anyone who felt they knew better. Doesn’t that sound like us? We would rather focus on reading what astrologers have to say because they always have nice things for us than read God’s word which seems harsh and painful. God’s direction is like our parent’s advice that seems hard and painful but really is meant to build us up. We need to open our hearts and minds to Jesus through his word because through obedience to him, we have an assurance of salvation, forgiveness of our sins and an eternity in God’s presence whereas without him, we have the world and all the frustrations and disappointments that come with it.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Luke 12:22-26
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Parable after parable, Jesus was teaching his significant following what God’s will for man was and is. Wealth was an area he spoke often about and it might seem depressing to most of us. Most of us devote our lives to providing well for us and our families and some of us are successful at it. To many, the safety in having wealth stored is more than the security of knowing we serve a loving savior. Wealth is measured in terms of money, possessions, jewelry, land, cattle and many other ways. Is the Lord saying that the pursuit of money is wrong then? Can we not build safety nets for ourselves here on earth to safeguard us and our families against difficult times like economic recessions?

In the verses prior to our passage today, we are reminded that if we put our trust in any wealth that is not scriptural, we may never be able to enjoy the fruits of it. Death may rob us of the chance of enjoying it’s protection and provision and our loved ones also may not get it. However, when we focus our lives on serving the Lord, we build for ourselves wealth in eternity and that is never perishing just as we are not when we are saved by God’s grace. Today the Lord reminds us that we are not to worry about our lives, our food, our physical health or clothes because he will provide and has been providing better than he does to even the birds of the air. We are considered God’s own children when we take his yoke upon our shoulders and we can rest in knowing that he has our best in mind. Now the pursuit of wealth is a joy because it is spiritual and all other wealth we acquire is from him and for his glory. Lets refocus our lives to serving him faithfully and building our treasures in heaven.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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What's Your Destination?


Matthew 23:33-39

“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

 

Today’s chapter shows the anguish in Jesus’ heart for how the priesthood of Israel were misleading God’s people for their own selfish reasons. They are warned of unimaginable ends and some of it seems too ancient for us to worry or consider except for the fact that Jesus speaks to us today in the same manner as he spoke to them then. The warning holds true today as much as at that point in time because we are not living lives that give glory to our maker. We live lives that give glory only to ourselves and this is far from God’s will for our lives.

Here in Canada, today is the day when people remember those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty for their country. To us as Christians, today is also the day when we remember those who lost their lives in service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How appropriate that the passage this morning above reflects the atrocities committed to God’s anointed ones who lost their lives and suffered for his name. If you are not serving God and living a life glorifying his name, you are the lost sheep that Jesus came to save and I encourage you to ask Jesus what he wants of you and invite him into your life today so that you can enjoy the gift of eternity and the assurance of salvation possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus for our sins!

In His Loving Service,

Vineet


Matthew 18:23-34

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talentsg was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.h He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt….“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

 

Sometimes I think of myself as a Pharisee in the way I act. By the grace of God, I was saved when I was 18 and have had a rocky walk with the Lord because I was always caught up by trying to live and not living for God. Oftentimes when difficult people came my way, I would judge them and mock them without thinking once that I’m just as difficult as them but saved by God’s grace alone. This is a reality I live with today as much as back then when Jesus related this parable 2,000 years ago. The reality that once we know we have the assurance of salvation and God’s renewed mercy every morning, we tend to slip back into our old ways and become Pharisees in our self righteousness and ways.

I hope I’m an exception and you feel like I’m weird but in reality, this is what the Lord has spoken and reminded us of. He wants us to remember that we are not special because of anything we did, because of the holy lives we lead, because of our good works and deeds, because of our charitable giving or hospitality, but that we are mere sinners saved by grace like the 1st servant in the passage above. And when we realize what we are and what God has done for us, we will change our attitude to difficult people and situations because we will then realize that these people are as special to the Lord as us. It sounds like me preaching but this reminder is loud in my head and I hope in yours too?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sorry for the break I took yesterday. It was my daughter’s 2nd birthday and I got busy with chores 😦