Posts Tagged ‘Cross’


Leviticus 3:1-5,17 “‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the LORD an animal without defect. You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash the blood against the sides of the altar. From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the LORD: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD… “‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”

Not only was God detailed in His directions, He was also all encompassing. Previously, reading these books of the Old Testament was a challenge because I wondered why all the repetitiveness.

Today, upon closer study, I have started to appreciate the depth of God’s word and the breadth of its content that gives me the assurance that God is not just god of the parts but of the whole!

Why then do we not follow these instructions God gave us with regards to each of these rituals and have we lost focus on what God called us to do? (more…)


Colossians 1:15-20
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Jesus is the picture of humility no human can ever stand up to. His supremacy is so well described here by Paul and yet the person who came here to earth to live among us and die for us sounds like a shadow of the person who He really is. The only motivation for someone to go through what Christ went through for us is love and not just human, selfish, sinful love but a love that is far beyond our understanding, a love so pure and faultless that only God could feel and experience and show. Many people have asked me and I am sure I have asked God why is it that he made the world the way it is, why were we given freedom to choose and if God was God, why would he permit the pain and strife that we go through?

I am not God and therefore don’t seek to answer for him but just imagine the life of a toy. It is heartless, is built for a purpose, has value to someone who appreciates it and loses value the moment the next toy comes along and therefore to its creator it is a lifeless creation. The pursuit of every toymaker is to make a toy that works like a Pinocchio that had life in it. Look at computers and our attempt to make artificial intelligence or inventions of the first cell. God has created us and the universe around us for a larger purpose than just being toys and he wants his entire creation to praise him for what he has done and gives us the freedom to choose. The Bible reminds us that one day, every tongue, tribe and nation will bow down before him in realization of who he is and the saved will live with him for eternity. Does this God who is supreme over everything yet humble below everything in love for us deserve our all?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

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.


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.


1 Corinthians 1:13, 17-18
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul…? For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Start of a new month and we begin our 7th book of the New Testament, a letter from Paul to the Corinthians written around 56-59 A.D. As you can read from the verses collated above, Paul hits hard at the Church in Corinth about key issues starting with their break-away factions. As we sit at the cross glorifying Jesus during this resurrection weekend, Paul asks us a question about our identity in Christ and questions our intelligence. What is our response to the question, ‘What kind of Christian are you – Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, or Orthodox’?

My Dad was protestant and Mom orthodox and we went to the protestant church most of the year but during school holidays would visit catholic and orthodox churches in my grandparent’s native places. A dear brother in Christ asked me a few years back what Christian I was and I tried to explain my denomination. In response he simply introduced himself as a Bible believing Christian. How simple and true is that. We are followers of Christ Jesus and serve Him, not denominations. We may be different in our race, language, ways of worship, geographic locations, etc. but we are one family in Christ redeemed by His blood and made anew. Lets not empty the cross of Christ by applying our human wisdom to God but instead lets stand together as grateful newborns praising God for His abundant mercy and grace.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


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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