Posts Tagged ‘Belief’


Luke 14:12-14
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Jesus was certainly ruffling feathers of the holy men during his ministry and it was not because he was doing it to offend them but because they were so unbelieving. They were so blinded by their belief that they did not see how they were robbing people of any connection with God through their rituals and laws. God was not looked at as someone who loved us but instead it was pressure that pushed people to follow God. What a tragedy because God is love and we have no right to change that nature of God! In the above passage about the banquet, it is something I would find very hard to follow. How could I not invite my own or those that are dear to me for a special occasion where I want to share my joy with them? How can I focus my energy and resources on those less fortunate than me and what good would that be to me? Would this be a lost networking opportunity or a smart PR strategy?

In today’s world, we are so focussed on doing good for public perception and there is seldom a business or famous person who does not support some cause or give to the needy but that’s never done without making a big deal about it. Jesus is not telling us to do things to get approval of man. Our focus should be on serving those less fortunate without expecting anything back. My grandmother has a thanksgiving dinner every year on the occasion of my grandfather’s passing away and one of the things they do is to invite all the less fortunate people in the community for a meal. There are over 100 people who are brought in, fed and sent home with love and what strikes me most is that this is done without any expectation of anything in return. These people cannot give anything back materially but Christ is shared and they receive willingly. What is your Christmas plan this year? Are you giving those who have lots or those who have nothing? Can we find someone in our areas of influence who is in need and share the joy of this special season? Can we give them some love that God shared with us who were once lost?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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God's Wondrous Creation

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Luke 3:15-18
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.

These are the words of John and in it we see humility not because John was being ‘Appropriate’ or ‘Nice’ or ‘Respectable’ but because he knew this to be the truth. John does not come across as a cultured well mannered person but as someone who dressed wildly, spoke brashly and was willing to die for his beliefs. What a contrast to us today who would rather hide our beliefs, be considered appropriate and mild mannered and avoid conflict. What is the Lord asking of us today?

We now live in Canada and it is a beautiful land with absolutely wonderful, warm-hearted people who make it warmer than the coldest winters can get. One challenge we face here though is that it is not socially appropriate to share your faith and people reserve their thoughts and feeling of religion and politics to themselves. This is not uncommon in most places I have lived in or visited and the challenge for us today is to decide if we want to fall prey to the devil’s taunts through what’s culturally acceptable or if we want to shamelessly profess our gratefulness to our Lord and maker who has transformed us and given us hope all the money in the world would not buy. Are you holding back to be culturally appropriate and losing precious souls in the bargain? Are you willing to be shameless and bold for what the Lord has done for you? Lets be Johns’ in our world and save many than be Judass’ in our willingness to sell our faith for being appreciated in the eyes of man.

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

Ugly Frame or Beautiful Structure


Matthew 19:11-12, 14-15, 23-24

Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”…Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there…Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

 

Jesus seems to contradict everything known to the men of those times, even the wise and learned ones, and the passages above are a reflection of some of his statements that puzzled everyone, even his own disciples. It seems like he was getting them to unlearn all of Moses’ teachings, the traditions followed by the Israelites for 1,000s of years and the rules set to help people follow God diligently. What was the problem? Is this something we face today also? What is Jesus teaching us today?

One of the things we notice is that Jesus’ corrections were to do with the blindness of our beliefs. In those times, it was unthinkable for children to be given any importance in society and they were the outcast until they became adults, just like women always were. Divorce became a thing of convenience and was no longer a taboo like it is not today. Religiosity and religious fervor was determined by acts and deeds and not by a change of heart and faith. Jesus was trying to awaken their dead hearts which were living in their version of the present rather than what God wanted for them and this was the reason for conflicts. Are you fixated on your version of God’s will for you or can you hear what the Lord is speaking to you through his word today? For me, it’s going to be a lifetime of undoing what I thought and think about living and all I pray is that God would patiently love and lead me each day to make me more like his son Jesus and to change my heart to love and serve him in everything I do.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet