Posts Tagged ‘Church’


Philippians 2:1-3, 5-8
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose… Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

According to my dictionary, humility means a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness. This is something we can ascribe to people with low self esteem or people who feel they are less than those they serve. It is a very defeated attitude in today’s world and therefore as much as we talk praise about people who are humble, we cannot aspire to it because it is not in us. When I had the inspiration for ServantBoy as a handle, it seemed to the world the worst way to portray oneself and I was told more often than not to change it as it embarrassed people who knew me. When I look at today’s passage, I am encouraged by Christ’s example and feel inspired once again.

So many traits of Jesus in His earthly life are painted by the picture of humility. He was born in poverty, He knelt and prayed to God the Father, He was surrounded by the lowest in society, He amassed no wealth, He rode on donkeys and He was even stripped, beaten and humiliated by being hung on the cross beside two criminals for no fault of His. If we are to serve Him as our God, how can we not humble ourselves below Him? How can we seek our own comforts before the comforts of those suffering around us? How can we justify our gain at someone else’s loss? God rewards us for loving His Son and living a life worthy of His name and that reward will be for eternity but to be blessed, we need to first seek His Son Jesus and live by His example. I hope you are encouraged by Jesus’ example and are proud to call yourself His own and live a life worthy of His name?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.


Philippians 1:12-14, 19-21
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly… for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

At our Bible study last Sunday, we learnt about the issue of complaining. The Israelites complained about how they missed their cucumbers and leeks back in Egypt and so God gave them so much manna and quail that they were repulsed by it. I fear that as a human, I will always be a complainer, a moaner and when asked what I want, I will always ask for things I desire. When we seek God, we are always asking and demanding and the focus is always ‘I’. Why is Paul’s motivation so different from ours and are we expected to be as insane as he was for Christ?

Paul talks about suffering as a blessing as did Jesus. Without suffering Jesus would not accomplish the greatest sacrifice of all and so also without suffering we cannot surpass the greatest challenge in our lives, US. We are instinctively selfish and care only about ourselves and our wants/needs/desires. However, when we are saved by the grace of God, we no longer belong to ourselves but to Him who saved us from death and destruction. We owe our lives to Him. In order for us to become like Him, we need to shed ourselves and that can only be achieved through total submission to Jesus Christ. That submission will cost us dearly but the reward is eternal. Are you in it for the here and now or are you in it for eternity? We cannot have the best of both worlds because Jesus reminds us that we cannot serve 2 gods at one time.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me


Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

In today’s day and age when wars are being fought using technology rather than weapons and weapons are smaller, more powerful and more devastating, talk of the armor of God seems futile. The war that Paul is getting us to be armed for is not one fought with arms and ammunition of this world because the ones we are to fight are not human, but the war we are to fight is the war against the evil forces in the heavenly realms, unseen to the human eye but real and powerful. Satan is powerful enough to have blinded the world from seeing the truth about God and cunning enough to have driven us to vain pursuits of money, power, possessions, etc. all of which never seem to be enough and will take us to the grave unsatisfied. How are we, as mere humans supposed to fight this battle?

To fight a war, we need to know our enemy and since we were once on that side, we know what pleases and upsets the enemy. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Holy Spirit, Word of God are all things that the enemy hates. However, these are things that are also alien to us because we have lived our lives speaking lies, disobeying God, causing conflict, putting our faith in everything but God and so to be on God’s side, our first act is to submit ourselves to God for His Holy Spirit to work in us and cleanse us. Then only can we live lives transformed by the Holy Spirit that effectively fight the battle against the forces of evil. Are you in God’s army and if so, are you trying to fight the battle in your own strength or His?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Isaiah 59:17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.


Ephesians 5:22-27, 31-32
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

We went for a dear friend’s Birthday party on Saturday night and it was a special one because we got to meet so many people and we were amazed to see how God works in the lives of people for purposes higher than just the here and now. I loved the fact that the entire evening was spent with real people with real lives and in the midst of that, the source of encouragement to each of us was the forgiveness of God and the lives marked by His grace. During the course of the evening, one of the topics 2 brothers and I discusses was to do with today’s passage and while this was contentious, it was a reality we had to deal with. What is the role of Jesus in our marriages and what roles do we play in His Church?

Paul reminds us today that the proper structure of a marriage is Christ as the foundation, husbands below in submission to Jesus and wives in submission to Jesus and their husbands. This is the structure God expects in our churches as much as in our marriages and while it sounds very lopsided in favor of men, the essence is the role Christ, men and women take in the marriage relationship. Jesus loved his bride, the church (Us), so much that he did everything in His power to make us perfect and without stain to be one with Him. In the same way husbands are expected to love their wives in such a manner and only then will they together be able to become one and serve God effectively. Similarly wives are required to submit to husbands in the way the church submits to Christ and in so doing glorify Jesus in their marriages.

When we consider our lives in Christ, we need to realize that submission is the only way forward with God. Without submitting our lives and it’s challenges to God, we will never enjoy the spiritual freedom in Him and so we should never consider submission to Christ or Husbands as bondage but freedom from the challenges of this world. In Christ, we will constantly battle the world because Satan would have us believe each for themselves but in Christ we are bound by love, God’s ever-forgiving, never-ending, always-cleansing, sanctifying love! Are we willing to submit and if yes, to whom, Jesus Christ or Satan?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.


Ephesians 4:10-13
He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

In times past, I believed that truly serving God meant getting into full-time ministry and leaving the secular world behind, studying theology and quitting the world of commerce and so on. One day I was talking with the pastor in the church I attended back in Dubai and he said that his role limited his reach to share the gospel with people in the marketplace whereas mine gave me access to the unreached far more than he could ever manage. This was quite astounding to me because it was then that I realized that serving God was not an actor’s job played out in optimal conditions in a set. God calls us to serve Him where He has placed us and to people around us with whom we are able to build relationships and share our testimonies. What is the ultimate goal for us then?

Jesus is the one who descended into the grave for no fault of His but for our brokenness because we nailed Him on the cross by our sins and He took the weight of the world’s sin, died on the cross and was resurrected by God the Father to the heavens. In so doing He released the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of all who believe, and directs us to serve Him through our gifting whether as apostles, pastors, prophets or any other role. The goal clearly is to build up the body of Christ to be unified in our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, to grow in His love and understanding and to become more like Him. What is your gifting and are you using it for God’s purposes? I encourage you to consider the purpose of you life and to take the next step in faith in Christ.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ephesians 4:16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I love to read Paul’s prayers as he expresses God’s word in lay man understanding, giving a sense of direction with prophetic words, has a deep seated motivation to spur us onward in our Christian walk and always giving God the glory. As I think about God, I realized that Jesus quoted the word of God in everything that He said and His life was lived in the fulfillment of it. When live out out faith in our lives, do we use and consider the word of God in everything? I long for the day when God’s word is etched in my mind and heart and when the first thought I have in every situation is Him and His glory. Is that what Paul prays here for us?

Paul requests God to give us from his glory the strength through His Holy Spirit residing in us (believers) so that Christ may live in our hearts through our faith in Him. Why would God need to strengthen us for Christ to live in us? When we accept Christ, we are walking away from the Prince of this world, Satan, and taking the path the Lord wants us to walk. This means our lives are always going to be in torment from Satan and we will constantly be drawn back to our lives of sin and therefore we need the strength that only God can give us, the direction that the Holy Spirit provides us and the love that Christ shows us through His life. As we walk with God, we start to appreciate the dimensions of His love which, although unseen to the blinded eyes of sinful men, are revealed to us who are born again through His sacrifice for us. Are you filled with the full measure of God and living out your faith in your life?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.


Ephesians 2:14-18, 22
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit… And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

As we continue to read through the rich text in the book of Ephesians, I struggle to choose the right passage as there is so much the Lord is speaking to me today. Even though I might chose a certain portion, I do encourage you to click the link and read the entire chapter to get a good sense of what God is speaking to us. Paul’s ministry was to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and the two people becoming one is about us, non-Jews, being reconciled with the Jews to become God’s chosen people. What hostility is he referring to one might wonder. With the current situation in the Gaza strip and the questionable response of the Israelites, it is a challenge to understand what God is doing but lets not focus on current affairs and politics but rather keep our focus on what God is saying to us today.

When I consider the life of Jesus, I see peace throughout His life here on earth even though he was troubled, betrayed, cheated, lied to, condoned, crushed and given the lowly punishment of death on a cross for no sin of His own. During His earthly stay, Jesus was constantly working to reconcile man to God and His message was one of hope. When we look around at life today, the last thing one can find is peace as there is strife and unrest globally. Having traveled to over 111 cities around the world, I am yet to find a peaceable place and the reason is that we are seeking peace in a selfish and broken place. Jesus however is offering us peaceful living in God’s presence for eternity and calls us, whether Jews or Gentiles, to be a part of His chosen family simply by faith in Him and what He came to do for us. My world is no longer driven by current affairs but by the leading of the Holy Spirit and I seek to glorify God in everything and live in peace with Him. What have you decided?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.


Galatians 6:14-16
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

Recognition is such a wonderful high and I like most other humans thrive on it. Measuring our efforts and success through the world’s lens give us meaning and appreciation for what we do and so we continue to strive. For some, it may be the pursuit of knowledge, for some their physical beauty, for some the ability to make money, for others the association with people of power, for some the power of their body, for others the strength of mind and so on. The apostle Paul however seems to be a man of a different mould. So different that we might consider him indifferent and incompatible in our social world. Would I ever want to be a Paul and live a life of oblivion or would I prefer my own life where I try and balance the two sides of me?

As I battle to understand what God wants for me, this morning’s passage seems to ring clear in the fog of my confused mind. The good news of Jesus is that He recognizes our sinfulness and our inability to cover that sinfulness by showing the world who we are not. We like to live a life of oblivion where we prefer hiding our problems in the dark alleys of our personality and use what is acceptable to the world as our fronts. In Christ however, we gain the freedom from our sins but to fully live a life of meaning to Him who set us free, we cannot be living to please the world because the world operates diametrically opposite to Christ and what He desires. If we are to gain Christ, we have to lose the world and it’s pinning. Are we living for the moment or for eternity in the presence of our creator God?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.


Galatians 5:16-17, 22-25
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Freedom in Christ if not clearly explained might mislead us and therefore Paul clarifies the spiritual freedom we receive as a people saved by the grace of God. As humans, we like to establish boundaries to know where we can operate and what is out of bounds. While this might be the case, as broken as we are, some of us like to work on the edge of these boundaries and when challenged argue our way out of it. For example when we have a speed limit on the road, the purpose is to ensure safety of all who use the public road and the keyword stated with the speed limit is ‘Maximum’. However, we like to use it as a gauge of what speed we can drive at and we generally drive around that speed or higher, seldom lower. How then does the spiritual freedom operate and how do we exercise it?

Overcoming sin such as that mentioned above is a real challenge because as hard as we try, we fail. However, when we are saved by the grace of God, we are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit and it steers us away from sin because it desires to serve God and not Satan. The fruits of the Holy Spirit evident in us are listed in the passage above and it shows that there is no room for sin. When we are confronted by sin, we know it because we are reminded by the Holy Spirit and our response should be to run away from it because if we court sin, we cannot serve God. When I am reminded by the Holy Spirit about doing something that is not pleasing to God, I submit myself into God’s hands and run from it. Satan attacks us in very subtle ways and walking close to God helps us hear His voice which directs us away from sin. This is hard for me to talk about because I know my brokenness and my propensity to sin but I also know that Christ has won the victory and as long as I am His, I am protected.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Romans 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.


Galatians 4:21-23, 28-31
Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise… Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

As I continue to seek God through His word, I realize that every word written is worth it’s weight in gold because of how it reflects the character and nature of God. Quoted in verse 30 are words spoken by Sarah in anger when her son Isaac was being mocked by Hagar’s son (Born of Abraham) and even though it sounded crude at that time, God told Abraham to comply because it was through Isaac that Abraham’s offspring would be established. Isaac was born because of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah whereas Ishmael was born because they decided to take matters into their own hands. While all of this might be good and true, what does it have to do with us today who cannot draw any direct lineage to Abraham and are being called free?

I was born an Indian national and it might seem strange to some that I was saved by the grace of God in India because it is not in any way connected to Israel. God calls the Israelites His people and I call myself a Christian but I’m not Israelite and is there a problem? Our rebirth or the experience of being born again is not a physical one but spiritual and baptism is the physical act of obedience we follow to understand this transformation. When we submit our lives to Jesus Christ, God enters us through His Holy Spirit, cleanses (sanctifies) us of our sins, transforms our hearts and minds to be able to communicate with Him, and calls us His own which makes us Abraham’s offspring. We are not slaves to the law anymore but are now reborn free in Christ who conquered sin and death and gave us life eternal with Him and God the father. Are you still a child of slavery or the child of a promise?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.