Posts Tagged ‘Brokenness’


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 6:52-58
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”

If I were among the hearers of what Jesus said on that day in Capernaum, I would’ve been very confused. When Jesus spoke of us eating his flesh and drinking his blood to have eternal life, it must have sounded so terrible to those around him. He also spoke of his death and resurrection but in the context of tearing down the Church and rebuilding it back in 3 days and that was mysterious but post his death and resurrection, everything made sense but yet only to those whom God had chosen to reveal himself to. What did Jesus mean by us eating his flesh and drinking his blood? What significance does it have in terms of eternity?

To understand this, we need to understand what Jesus came to do among us. God the father sent his son Jesus to life a perfect and blameless life and die an unjustified death to permit us to have access to him. This access was denied because we are found unclean before a holy and righteous God. Through Jesus’s death, we have the perfect sacrifice for our sins which can otherwise never be washed away. When we accept Jesus into our lives, our sins are washed clean by his blood and we are a new creation. The blood signifies the sacrifice Jesus made to clean us inside out and the body signifies the body of Christ that we are now a part of. Without accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior and admitting our brokenness to him, we will never have peace and the assurance of eternity. Are you part of the body of Christ and are you proud to say that you are a hopeless sinner saved by God’s grace alone? I am!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Deer in Motion


John 4:19-24
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

This incident occurred in Samaria and Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman with whom Jews do not normally converse or have anything to do with. Sounds strange but such stereotypes exist even today. For Jews, talking and having any form of relationship with a non-Jew was sacrilegious and Jesus was going beyond that and actually sharing the gospel! The hope of the Jews was now being offered to all of mankind and the path was simple and straight but would always be against the grain of this world. The part of this passage that stood out to me was when Jesus said that true believers would worship the Father in spirit and truth. What did he mean by that? What is untruthful about how we worship?

Before I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, going to Church was a requirement and I never missed a week without going and doing all that needed to be done. I was an active and participative Christian and never said I was anything but a Christian. However, my heart and mind was not in what I did because it was ritualistic. When the wool of rituals were removed from my eyes and I saw the Lord calling me into a real relationship and that was when rituals were replaced by a relationship where I now live to serve him. Christ now is alive in me through his spirit and I can worship him in spirit and truth with my entire being. Do you know what I am talking about? Have you drunk the living water? Is your life now filled with meaning and purpose? If no, ask the Lord to remove the wool on your eyes and show you who and what he is and he will. If yes, I hope you are enjoying worshipping God in Spirit and Truth with all your heart and mind?

In Your Loving Service,
Vineet

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Beauty in the Bush


John 3:25-30
An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.

John the baptist certainly was no ordinary man and it is interesting how he deals with loss of respect and position. John (A disciple of Jesus and the writer of this gospel) captures the essence of the situation well in this passage above. The arguing parties were John the baptist’s own disciples with a Jew and how good it must’ve felt for him to note that his disciples were supporting him. However, without a moment’s notice, John the baptist corrects his disciples and the Jew that he is only a close associate of the groom, Jesus Christ, who is the long awaited messiah and his joy is to prepare the way for the groom to meet his bride, Israel. The last statement he makes, however, is the toughest one for any follower of Christ to make until they understand the inverted perspective of God’s kingdom. Less of us and more of HIM.

In life we are constantly battling situations to improve and enhance ourselves, our means, our position, our wealth, our comforts, etc. However, when we submit our lives to Christ, we recognize our brokenness and are testifying to God’s abundant grace (Unmerited favor) for our sinfulness and we are made a new creation in him. This new creation is purposed to serve God and not self. We are called to give God the glory and not ourselves. When we serve God in our lives, he will provide for our every need and will be the one who gives and takes away. God is no genie in a bottle who works for our glory but it’s the reverse. I pray today that we would live by the same motto, More of Jesus and less of me!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Distant Horizon


Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

It might never seem that we could ever be like the Pharisee in our life or walk with the Lord but the reality is that this is how we perceive ourselves because we look at our lives in the mirror of our sinful minds and it conveniently misses showing us our brokenness. Before accepting Christ, we live in a comfortable belief that we are “NOT SO BAD” people but after accepting Christ, that realization changes 360 degrees because we are able to look at ourselves through the mirror of God, the perfect mirror that hides nothing from us. For you, if you are not in a relationship with Christ, the answer is simple. It’s a matter of choice of whether you choose to live in the peace and oblivion of your sin and not worry about your future or you choose to reflect on your brokenness and ask Jesus to be your savior and forgive your sins, cleanse you by his shed blood on the cross, clothe you in his righteousness, make you a new creation, fill you with the holy spirit to direct you and live for his glory now here on earth and in heaven in his glorious presence. What if you are saved? What is his message for you today?

One of the greatest challenges we face in life is pride. Most people suffer from it because we are always trying to look out for ourselves, our needs and recognition and therefore pride is a stumbling block we never seem to get over. However, in God’s kingdom, pride has no place in our lives. The very fact that we call ourselves believers is an admission to the fact that we fell short of God’s goodness and nothing can change that. However, our minds convince us that we know enough about the Lord and now that we are saved we don’t need to do anything, or, we get busy living that we forget spending time with the Lord, or, we get so caught up in studying God’s word for intellectual purposes that we forget to apply it in our daily lives, etc. All of this causes us to see the unsaved people around us with distorted eyes. We try to differentiate ourselves from them and feel like we are better off. However, today we are warned that we like them are sinners saved by God’s grace and nothing we do can make us good. We need to look at others through the merciful eyes of our Lord and love them. What is the greatest commandment Jesus taught us (Matthew 22:37-39)?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Rough But Certain Path


Luke 7:36-43
Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,d and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

The fact that Christ came to save sinners seems easy to pass off but difficult to live with for those who don’t share a relationship with him. What I mean here is that we live our lives in oblivion to the fact that we are sinners. It is hard for us to stop justifying our actions and looking at ourselves in the mirrors of our minds as reasonably good people. If we were involved in some form of charity, we feel like we are better than average. If we do a good act, it feels like a real bonus in our kitty and this seems to nullify any wrong that we could have done. Some religions offer ways to compensate our sins by actions like charity, pilgrimages, sacrifices, etc. However, are we really forgiven and what assurance do we have that these actions would cover all our sins? Also, what happens beyond the human years?

The reality of sin is that we are born in it and from the get go, we are collecting sin debt that cannot be paid off in human ways. We sin by thought as much as in word or deed and the Bible reminds us that all men have sinned and are in need of saving. This is the reason we are alienated from God and live in a sinner’s paradise where our eyes are covered with the devil’s shades! In today’s passage and also in today’s chapter, Jesus reminds us over and over again that he came to forgive us our sins (Past, present and future) and give us the assurance of sharing an eternity in his presence. The challenge is for us to admit our brokenness and desperate need for saving and then, when we ask him in, we are transformed. The sinful lady realized the depravity of her situation and knew that nothing she did could atone but by shamelessly submitting herself before Jesus and serving him with her heart, she was saved! Are we still living in the comfort zone of thinking we are ‘REASONABLY OKAY’ people? Wake up and repent before it is too late!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Christmas Cheer


Mark 15:16-20
The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

The Passion of Christ was a movie that depicted what Jesus went through in those torturous hours and it was very hard for me to watch not only because of all the blood and gore but because it seemed so real and put reality in place of a ‘tale’ we have often read or heard. I don’t know about you but for me, when I grew up, the Bible was a bunch of stories that were meant to be heard and remembered but I often doubted it. What was so special about God and more so about his son who came to die for us?? Life was good, school was fun, there were good times and so on and where did God have to fit in? Then and even for a long time after, Church and faith were requirements to be fulfilled but dint make any relevant sense.

In today’s movies, the hero most definitely comes up with a genius plan and rescues himself while giving the bad guys a real beating but here, things seem to go south for Jesus and he has no rescue plan, no heavenly hosts appear and scare the daylights of these bad people, nothing. Jesus is falsely accused and offers no response, humiliated and beaten but does not utter a word and finally broken and put to death and his short but eventful life seems to come to an end but it is not the end, only the perfect beginning for us. If Jesus had not gone through all of this and overcome death, we would have no sacrifice to atone with God and how much more perfect can our sacrifice be than this? If there is 1 thing God cannot hold against us regardless of how horrible we are and were, it is the image of his son whose blood was shed for us. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God the father sees us as Jesus’s own and this shed blood for our brokenness is vital to our new relationship. I pray this morning that you are able to stand with me at the cross and thank Jesus for putting himself through all of this for us. I pray that we will recommit our lives to him and hand over the reins to him.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Loving Embrace

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