Posts Tagged ‘Comfort’


Genesis 37:3,4,10,22,26,27,35,36 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic. His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms… He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?”… Reuben further said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father…Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him… Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him. Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard.

I have only taken a few verses to try and give a brief of the chapter but before you read any further, I encourage you to invest a few minutes to read the chapter in its entirety.

We move from the life of Israel to that of his children and in specific, to Joseph, his most loved child. This partial love was evidenced in the technicolor tunic and it became a reason for a rift in Israel’s household among his children.

Why does God permit His own to suffer so much to achieve what He intends? (more…)


Genesis 35:1-3,5,9-13 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone”… Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them… After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.

Another interesting portion in Jacob’s life was covered today and we are fortunate to be able to journey with him and his family.

There were several aspects that stood out to me but the two I chose were key to my understanding and I pray are helpful in yours too. The first was God’s request of Jacob to build an altar in Bethel and the next was God’s blessing of Jacob.

The question that lingered in my mind was why did Jacob not put away the idols until now? (more…)


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.


2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Today we study the 150th chapter in our journey across the Bible and the start of the 2nd letter from Paul to the Corinthian church. Paul gets right to it again and I struggled with what to write on as there is so much meat in this one chapter alone. What struck me was the description of God that Paul used and I dwelt on it for long. He refers to God as the father of Jesus, the father of compassion and the God of comfort. We know that God is the father of Jesus Christ but what is the relevance to calling God the father of compassion and God of comfort? Also, why should we receive the sufferings of Christ?

In the Old Testament, there are references to God as the God of Abraham, Jacob, etc. and these denote God’s covenant-relation to them and their seed. God of Jesus was the covenant-relation to the Mediator and his spiritual seed. God of comfort is used because God is quintessentially the God of tender mercies and he delights in showing mercy (Mic. 7:18). If we like the apostles don’t undergo tribulations, what joy are we to share with those who don’t know Christ and the joy of life everlasting with Him in Heaven? Sufferings abound in our lives when we serve Jesus Christ and with that we receive the comfort of God’s mercies when we glorify Him. Through our sufferings we can speak joyfully of God’s goodness and mercies and share what God has done for our souls.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

2 Cor. 1:21,22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


1 Corinthians 14:1-4, 39-40
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church… Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

With our feet based on a foundation of love, Paul encourages us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. He clearly explains that the gift of prophecy is of more value than the gift of tongues because of the basic fact that it edifies the church rather than self and our goal is to love others as God loves us. Rather than getting into which gifts, what they are and how to use them, God’s direction to me from today’s chapter was the whys of spiritual gifts. Why are we given spiritual gifts?

Our spiritual gifts are given to us to edify the church through the working of the Holy Spirit in us. We are reminded in 1 Peter 4:10 ‘Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.’ Again in 1 Cor. 12:7 we are reminded that these gifts are for the common good. We now know that God has given all believers spiritual gifts, that we should desire them and when they are given to us that we should use them to serve Him to the world. Paul also reminds us about using these gifts in an orderly and fitting way because they are from God and God is orderly, not chaotic.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, which we started reading 7 days ago in the quest to go through the new testament, a chapter a day. I’m amazed at the wisdom recorded in these pages which is probably a summation of key points that Jesus spoke during his ministry. Words that don’t just make for good reading or something that we teach our children for their development but words spoken from the mouth of God whose very words commanded the whole universe into existence.

However, the Bible and its teachings are probably not what most people would like to live by because it does not teach about a God who would act as a genie in a bottle, it does not promise a life of luxury and comfort, it does not make us bigger, famous and more powerful people but instead, it does just the opposite. We do not want to live with knowing the reality of pain, brokenness and sorrow and we are constantly trying to move to places of comfort. Jesus, however, explains to us that he sees our pain and is willing to help us but only if we are willing to admit that we have pain and need help. If we want to live in oblivion to that reality, our lives will be like the house built on the sand and it will be destroyed by the forces of evil in this world. Lets build our lives on Christ, the rock and the foundation and not on satan and his ill-conceived notions of self reliance.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet


Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

There are 4 major themes in chapter 4 and choosing Jesus’ temptation seemed fitting because it is something I personally battle with; what about you? What first got me was the realization that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted. I constantly pray that God would protect me from the fowler’s snare and here God himself is being led into it. To add to the challenge, Jesus fasts forty days and nights which means he did not eat a morsel. Fasting one meal for me is a challenge because I’m a foodie and often that sacrifice of meal consumes me so much that I chicken out of fasting. Then Jesus was tempted with things no man could refuse. Satan throws food, comfort, power and majesty in Jesus’ feeble hands as these are things most of us would clutch on to when we are tempted but Jesus refuses every one of them and counters each one scripturally, finally to be rid of the devil.

In our context, what does this mean? We live lives filled with challenges. To some it’s basic necessities, to some money, to some power, to some relationships, to some respect and honor and so on. These challenges all revolve around us and we are constantly seeking ways to resolve them. The poor want to be rich, the weak want to become strong, the sick want good health, the old want youth and the young want age! When we realize that it is not I that matters and we cross the I, we are led to the cross. In Christ, there is surety of being recognized as precious because he died for us which none can match, there is eternity which is unthinkable, there is peace which is unaffordable and there is joy that comes from his love in our lives. Which path would you choose?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet