Posts Tagged ‘Authority’


Numbers 27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph… “Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord replied to Moses, “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father… One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river, and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.”… The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him.

This chapter seems to draw us to the end of another era and one wonders how God would continue to lead Israel without a leader? (more…)


Numbers 1:2-4,16-19,45-50,54 “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops, and you will be assisted by one family leader from each tribe… These are the chosen leaders of the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes, the heads of the clans of Israel.” So Moses and Aaron called together these chosen leaders, and they assembled the whole community of Israel on that very day. All the people were registered according to their ancestry by their clans and families. The men of Israel who were twenty years old or older were listed one by one, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. So Moses recorded their names in the wilderness of Sinai… They were registered by families—all the men of Israel who were twenty years old or older and able to go to war. The total number was 603,550. But this total did not include the Levites. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Do not include the tribe of Levi in the registration; do not count them with the rest of the Israelites. Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and all its furnishings as you travel, and they must take care of it and camp around it… So the Israelites did everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Theocracy is the rule by people in positions of political authority all of whom share the same religious beliefs and preferences. Theocracy may manifest in a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance provided to ruling clergy or other ruling officials (Credit – Wikipedia).

As the fleeing Israelites are being shepherded by God into their own land, it seems God is raising a nation. How is that relevant to us today? (more…)


Exodus 10:7-11,24-28 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?” Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the LORD your God,” he said. “But just who will be going?” Moses answered, “We will go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the LORD.” Pharaoh said, “The LORD be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil. No! Have only the men go; and worship the LORD, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence… Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.” But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God. Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the LORD our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the LORD.” But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

It seems like a never-ending flood of plagues on the Egyptians and after a point, one wonders if there is any hope left for them at all. Clearly God is making a point here and Pharaoh’s heart is too calloused to see sense in all this.

Why would an all loving God torture an entire nation for the sake of one man? (more…)


Genesis 16:2,4-9,13-15 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai… He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence. Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority”… Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

We continue with Abram, who was found righteous in the sight of God, and note a new trial in his life. Sarai was barren and frustrated about not being able to provide Abram a child even though God had promised Abram that he would be the father of the nations.

Sounds like a problem we often encounter when we are waiting on the Lord for an answer to prayer and our reaction when there seems to be no answer.

Abram is obedient to his wife rather than his God but in washing his hands off from taking responsibility for his actions, he confuses us and Sarai’s actions make us all the more concerned as to God’s justice for the underprivileged.

Do we serve a just God and is his response fair? (more…)


Revelation 2:1,8,12,18, 26-29 These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands… These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again… These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword… These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze… To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’— just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

This chapter and the next one are addressed to the seven churches and clearly is a message to them regarding their faithfulness, challenges specific to each church and a promise to them of blessings if they remain faithful. What is the significance of this message to us today 2,000 years later as most of us do not belong to those churches or face those battles?

One of the most significant parts of this chapter is the description of Jesus that is unique to each of the churches and pertinent to the situation they face. Jesus is not just Lord over all mankind but amazingly has facets of His personality and character that relate to every situation in our lives.

Furthermore, He is not just issuing a dictum of what should be done but instead relates to our specific situations, acknowledges our challenges and encourages us to remain faithful just as He is to us. The battles we face are not unknown to Him as is our response and attitude. He has bought us victory over Satan and sin by the shedding of His own blood and wants us to live in the knowledge of this victory and remain faithful to Him regardless of what our battles are.

The promises He makes to us if we remain faithful are giddying but also can be misinterpreted. He promises to give us authority over the nations and this does not mean we get an office of authority or exclusive power over mankind but it refers to our association with Him in His future glory.

The promise continues about ruling the lost with an iron scepter and dashing them to pieces like pottery which is an allusion from Psalm 29. This again refers to Jesus’ rule of total authority that will not be challenged and the breaking of pottery refers to all opposition being removed and only His authority being accepted.

The last promise is of the morning star which refers to the planet Venus which shows on the horizon before the morning dawns and therefore it refers to the arrival of Jesus’ glory which will melt away all the darkness and establish a new and blessed future in Him.

I pray that you would hear what the Lord is speaking and that the Holy Spirit would minister His words to you and you would live a life transformed by His love and grace.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Matthew 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.


2 Peter 2:1-4,9-10

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment… if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

As a christian, I find it hard to accept and reject teachings that are supposedly word-based but seem rather disconnected from what Jesus taught. Several scholars of the word have taken learnings from the word and created ideologies or given christian walk a new direction and I always worry that I will be directed off the path God would have me walk if I am not careful. Contorting wisdom to benefit our own desires is not an uncommon reality of humanity. How do we as christians know what’s right and what’s not? How is our faith safeguarded and is there something the Lord is saying to us today through His word? (more…)


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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To His Glory

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2010 in John, New Testament
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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 12:42-43
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

During Jesus’ ministry, his life was constantly in danger from people who were threatened by his ministry and the fear was not that Jesus was able, was the messiah, was the Son of God or was strong but it was the fact that people started to throng after him. The Jews in authority were the ones who controlled the temple and this control gave them access to immense wealth, great respect, followings of people who would give everything up for them and a life where they were always looked up to. Suddenly Jesus came and seemed to steal their thunder. I’ve often condoned them and anyone else who tries to stand against the gospel but I now see them in a different light.

I was and am sometimes like one of these men of power. It seems like pride continues to be a stumbling block in our lives specially when we overcome difficulties and seem to be comfortable. Comfortable is an uncomfortable place for me spiritually because like those men, I tend to get complacent and judgmental and look down upon people whom I consider less privileged. I am reminded today that the ones I judge must call me brother for I have been in their shoes and I do not want to be judged by the Lord by his standards. If we were to stand before God in his perfect holiness, we would be totally destroyed for we are full of sin and filth but I praise God for he has washed me clean in his son Jesus’ blood that I now can spend eternity in heaven in God’s presence. I pray that the Lord would keep us humble and never let pride or fear of man find any room in our lives.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Mark 11:28-33
“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?” Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!” They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men’…” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

For a man who was going to be betrayed, the kind of things Jesus did at the end seemed insane. Entering on a donkey and getting praise from the lips of common folk certainly did not sit well with those in authority there. Adding insult to injury was when Jesus entered the temple courts and threw all the sellers out and overturned the tables of the money changers. These were people who managed to work their way into the temple courts through befriending the Pharisees and they charged exorbitant rates for sacrifices and money changing because they had exclusive dominion in that place and worshippers had no choice but to buy from them. Worse than all of this was that Jesus sat and taught the people who came into the temple courts about what God wanted for their lives and this shook the very foundation of the faith at that time.

It is clear from the passage above that Jesus was not going to be ‘Shooed’ away and if these temple priests wanted him out, they would have to come up with something more than accusations. The only option they had then was to make falsified charges and take his life which was certainly what Jesus came for. He came to die for sinners and to give us hope of eternity with him through his resurrection. Are you willing to put your trust in Jesus who fought the world to clarify the truth to save us? Are you willing to stand up against the powers of this world and evil to proclaim his name above every other name? Lets not be caught sleeping when he come again. Lets rise us and share the gospel with the lost sheep and help them find their shepherd, Jesus Christ.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Fields of Harvest