Posts Tagged ‘Broken’


Leviticus 4:2-4,13,22,27,35 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. This is how you are to deal with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything that violates one of the Lord’s commands. “If the high priest sins, bringing guilt upon the entire community, he must give a sin offering for the sin he has committed. He must present to the Lord a young bull with no defects. He must bring the bull to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it before the Lord… “If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty… “If one of Israel’s leaders sins by violating one of the commands of the Lord his God but doesn’t realize it, he is still guilty… “If any of the common people sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but they don’t realize it, they are still guilty… Then he must remove all the sheep’s fat, just as he does with the fat of a sheep presented as a peace offering. He will burn the fat on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. Through this process, the priest will purify the people from their sin, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.

Another record of the seemingly senseless brutality of the Israelites is on display as God instructs them to make atonement for their unintentional sins by sacrificing animals.

We know today there is no blood shed for sins but why did God insist on such a gory sacrifice and is it relevant today? (more…)


Genesis 42:7,21-22,35 When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food”… Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood”… Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. Their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you.” But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”

Joseph was now in authority over Egypt and was respected and revered for his gift of divination by God and for the authority bestowed upon him by the Pharaoh.

Because of the widespread famine stretching all the way to Canaan, people from all over the region came to him for grain and this is how he chanced meeting with his 10 brothers.

Joseph’s response is odd in that he choses to imprison his brothers and treat them roughly but there seems to be justice in what he does when he sends them home while holding onto Simeon.

Wy would Joseph want to see Benjamin and what is God teaching us through this incident? (more…)


Genesis 38:1-2,24-26 And it came about at that time, that Judah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her… Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these things belong.” And she said, “Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.

Forgive me for feeling so outraged but why does the Bible record such depressing details of key figures who were supposed to carry God’s blessing?

This chapter – I encourage you to read it before you continue – shows the brokenness of Judah and his family. The reason I’m so upset is that Judah is Jesus’ ancestor!

This is a record of Judah’s disobedience by marrying a Canaanite woman which was forbidden by God, choosing another for his oldest son Er and their brokenness cost him the lives of his first 2 sons, makes him the father of two more sons born through an incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law and a life of pure shame.

Is there any point to this story and what is God speaking to us through it? (more…)


John 7:1-10
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yeta going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

After the miraculous conversion of water to wine as requested by his mother Mary, Jesus is now forced to go to the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles in Judea by his own brothers. This is the 2nd record of him being forced into doing something that he felt not led to as his time had not yet come. However, again Jesus goes to Judea and ministers to the people there but at the cost of nearly loosing his life. What is the issue Jesus has with going out and showing himself as the messiah? Why are his family finding it difficult to believe in him? What in all this is the Lord saying to us??

It is obvious that at the time, Jesus’s brothers did not believe him or his claim that he was the son of God. They were trying to test him and thought he was holding back because he was not sure. However, for Jesus, things were not the same. His intention was not to have the world make a mockery and spectacle of him. He came to save the lost and not entertain the crowds. He knew his time was short because his ministry was not going to something the world loved but hated because he came to show the world how desperately their situation was and how he was the only hope for them. In our lives, what are we seeking from Jesus? Are we looking for a miracle worker, a wise man who can give us good counsel, a famous personality we can associate with or are we seeking to find hope in a hopeless world? Jesus wants to help only those who want help and I hope this morning, you are woken up to this fact that the messiah is here and waiting for you to put your trust in him completely.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Beachside Beggar


John 5:24-27
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

Before I start the devotional every morning, I spend some time in prayer and the Lord lays on my heart his wisdom to discern what to pen. Sometimes I wish I was given wisdom on things other than salvation because it seems like that is a “common” topic but I realize after reflecting on the gospels that it is the topic Jesus came to share with our broken world because that was his sole purpose. The miracles, the heady knowledge of God’s ways, his character, etc. are not what matters as much as the truth of who he is, what he came to do, what is that to us and what our future holds.

When we consider the life of the invalid man who sat beside the pool of Bethesda, pity is the first thought that comes to mind. 38 yeas is not a short period of time to wait to be healed and chances are that he might never have been healed if Jesus did not visit him that day. Repeatedly Jesus ministers to the broken and suffering and not to the content people. This is because the content don’t have a need of him and live in oblivion to the pain faced by the world. The suffering and broken, as most of us are, are those who have reached a point in their struggle – physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc. – where nothing of this world can help. Jesus reminds us again and again that he is the only balm that will fix us and our issues. No matter how big or small our issues are, he will heal us, grant us new lives, a passport to eternal life with him and real meaning and purpose. Are you willing to call on him? Do you need prayer? It would be my privilege to pray with and for you as I always do and I hope today you meet you savior in spirit and truth!

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.

Road to New Pastures


Luke 8:34-37
When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

In the midst of the many miracles that took place, this was sitting out like a sore thumb. There was such a wonderful record of healing of the demon-possessed man and why would anyone in their right mind have an issue with it? This was the hope of millions that someone who was so severely written off, who had no control over his life and death would be one day considered normal. Can you imagine reformed serial murderers? Is that even acceptable in our society? Once condemned, we cannot seem to accept something as a new creation and therefore change of this sort seems ridiculous. Do you agree? Do you think that Jesus is talking to us through this terribly broken situation?

In my few years of walking around consciously after being saved, I have met some people whose transformation from sinful to sinfree was astounding. I’ve heard and met terrorists who are saved and reformed, drug addicts who are no longer addicted to drugs but to the service of the Lord, felons who have turned a completely new leaf and more and it sounds fascinating but would you be willing to befriend them if you knew their background? Would you be willing to let your kids be around them? This passage talks about how the people of the land wanted nothing to do with Jesus because they were not able to accept the change. This transformation was too much for their human, devil-centered hearts to accept and they were more concerned about looking livestock than wanting change of hearts themselves. We are so caught up justifying ourselves and thinking about the specks in other’s eyes that we forget the plank in ours. Have you been transformed from sinfulness to being a new creation in Christ? Are you accepting of sinners saved by Christ?

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


Matthew 5:3-12
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

As Jesus continued to teach in Galilee, these were some of his words that to me stood out in chapter 5. They stood out because these were a preamble to his teaching on murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge and loving our enemies. What specifically got me again and will never stop is the fact that Jesus is talking not to the rich, the strong, the wise, the faithful, the righteous, the saints or the people we perceive as the ones whom he would recognize among us but instead, his words were to the poor, the sick, the broken, the frustrated, the suffering, the weak, the hungry or in essence the ones who realize that they need help, over and above anything they can get from this world or the powers and authorities of this world.

Jesus spoke then and still speaks now in the same language. He does not want our wealth because he has more and he does not want the ones who have achieved a lot because they believe in themselves and their own efforts and feel no need for a God and savior. Therefore, whenever I hear people saying ‘Believe in yourself; Mind over matter; self realization; power of inner self; etc’, it worries me because these people are capitalizing on the one thing we all desperately need, a SAVIOR. When our savior becomes anything but the Lord Jesus Christ, we are serving no one else but the devil whose only goal is to steal us from God and ruin our lives. Are you in need of saving? Turn to Jesus and know that you can have newness of life, unceasing joy and peace in his him and through his love and sacrifice for us.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet