Posts Tagged ‘Blind’


Numbers 22:1,2,6,12,13,16-20,22,28,32,33,37 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites… “Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse”… But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you”… They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!” But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.” That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do”… But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along… Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam… “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey”… “Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?” Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”

A bizarre story it seems and what is with all the confusion about God saying go and then threatening Balaam with death when he does go? How does this relate to us today? (more…)


Revelation 3:1-2,8,15-20 I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God… I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name…

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Today’s chapter was all the more meatier than I expected and therefore I apologize for selecting 9 verses to reflect on. This is a continuation of God’s message to the 7 churches and like yesterday’s messages, they speak to each of us at our situation in our spiritual walk.

God knows us, knows our situations and gives us the grace to cope with where we are at. That is obvious from the way He speaks to us in each circumstance or situation. What I wonder is why does God not simply save us from the trials of life and take us straight to be with Him after we accept Him as our Lord and Savior?

To answer that question, we need to look at Jesus’ own life here on earth. He never came with any pomp and never lived in splendor, spent most of His ministry time with the poor, sick, outcast and sinful, did not give Israel the prominence they hoped for, brought His gospel to all regardless of race and lived to see a death so painful caused by those He came to save.

The purpose of our lives in Christ is not to escape the realities of life but instead to live a life of victory in Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are transformed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit and are able to directly communication with Jesus.

When we live in total submission to Him the challenges of this life cannot shake us because we now have God’s strength on our side, His protection of our souls as an assurance, His Holy Spirit to minister to us, His grace to carry us through, His love to overshadow the hate of this world, His peace to comfort us, His joy to keep a smile on our face in adversity and His promise to take us to be with Him as our final reward!

Are we awake or asleep in the spirit, do we see the open door of God before us, are we lukewarm in our faith or have the thrills of this earthly life caught our fancy? I pray today that we awake from our slumber and hold on to the hope that once brought us on our knees to submit our lives to Christ. I pray that those of us who have never experienced Jesus will do so and life a life of victory in Him.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Acts 13:6b-11
There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

There constantly was a conscious and orchestrated effort to stop the disciples from sharing the gospel and as the good news was being preached around the world, more and more people were being saved and many were being persecuted. Would it not be discouraging for the elect to continue to fight a never-ending battle? Was it not frustrating to them that everywhere they went, they were up against a never ceasing enemy? Would it not be simpler for them to live their normal, peaceful lives and not put themselves to such difficulties for a man who died many years ago?

To the ones who have found peace in Jesus, there is nothing or no one that can take it away. To the sinner saved by God’s grace, nothing can be more comforting and no hardship can cause them to stop sharing God’s goodness to the world. In Elymas (Bar-Jesus), Paul saw himself and God’s punishment spoken through Paul was evidence of what he was before he met the Lord. Today we are reminded of who we were (If we are now saved) or are and what we have become (Or can become) in the character of Elymas and Paul. The choice is simple, the rewards are eternal but the consequences could be temporarily harsh. Are you willing to be counted on God’s side?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Luke 5:4b-11
He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Every miracle Jesus performed was dear to the people who witnessed them. To the blind man, it was the gift of sight because that was his greatest need, to the leper it was the freedom from leprosy and to Simon the fisherman, it was a catch of fish beyond his fishing experience specially in a lake that was dry of fish! However, we need to remember here that Jesus was not just the greatest magician or miracle worker but that in each of these miracles, there was meaning and purpose for the people he blessed and for the witnesses, us included. The attitude of the recipient in each blessing was something outstanding because it showed the dire need for a miracle but the message Jesus conveyed was beyond that of a ‘Genie in a bottle’.

In our daily lives, we can live in total oblivion of things around us and the famous phrase, ‘ignorance is bliss’, comes to mind. However, when we are in real need, we cannot ignore it and seek ways to solve the issue. When the issue goes beyond human solutions, we open our hearts and minds to God for his intervention and this is where the Lord comes in. He meets our needs when we are ‘NEEDY’ and when we realize that we cannot fix our problems. God does not seek to entertain us but to save us. His only aim is to help us realize we are in desperate need of saving and that only he can. Every morning when I go before God, I speak the same words as Simon, “I am a sinful man”, because I realize how worthless I am before a pure and perfect God. However, I also am reassured by the fact that Jesus died for my imperfections and has washed me clean by his blood. I hope you have had the NEED for him and that you have had the life transforming miracle of being washed by his blood and being assured of an eternity with him in heaven? If not, it’s never too late!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Fading Sunset or Rising Sun?


Mark 6:41-44,48-50
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand… He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

After Jesus performed an astounding miracle with the physical provision of food to 5,000 men and their families using just five loaves and two fish, it was disheartening to hear how the disciples were down on morale and struggling at the oars and that is the reason Jesus decided to walk to them on water to encourage them. Somehow I think I would be full of courage and strength if I were to witness such miracles but after pondering about it, I realize that I am certainly no different from these disciples in my faith. Time and again, the Lord works his miraculous ways in our lives but we in our selfish nature either are blinded to the truth or are lost in our own selves and don’t recognize them.

You might not have seen a healing or a feeding like those reported on these pages of scripture but look back at your life and think of the little miracles that have happened? I remember prayers being answered in difficult circumstances, undue blessings coming our way in times of desperation, situations coming to pass without our efforts, etc. However, I know now that I have issues and problems and situations that I am banging God’s doors with because I am concerned God will not come through. Am I not acting like the disciples? I pray today that we will start to count our blessings and when we are faced with storms, that we will be able to submit our problems to God and wait upon him for his blessing rather than trying to fix things ourselves. This is a journey from head to heart which seems short in length but will take a lifetime!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Guarded Beauty

 

 


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


Matthew 16:6-12

“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.


Because of sinfulness, we are blinded to see what God is saying and doing in our lives and this is probably the biggest challenge to our walk with God. I find it such a challenge to prepare myself to sit before the Lord because before I do, I reflect on my life and have to first weed through the sin that covers my heart and mind and blocks my full view of what the Lord is teaching me. This morning more so than others and so when I read today’s chapter, I realized that even the disciples had a hard time figuring out what our Lord was speaking to them through the parables because they were still being pruned.

Again it seems the Lord is warning about following the Pharisees and Sadducees and I’m certain this was no mistake. Even though these were men of God who took care of the temple, taught God’s word and instructed people in God’s ways, Jesus was telling us off about them. This makes leadership such a challenge because when we lead, if our humanness comes before God’s holiness, we start to serve ourselves before God. The Pharisees and Sadducees were stuck in a spot where they were serving God in the way they felt right and therefore were blinded to the truth of the messiah’s arrival and their religious fervor and rituals had gripped their hearts. I encourage us to seek the Lord today and ask him to weed out such strongholds in our lives that prevent us from full and total submission to the Lord and to ask Jesus to always reign supreme in our lives and reduce our significance because our lives are to be lived for his glory.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet