Posts Tagged ‘Divine’


Deuteronomy 12 (NLT) When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree. Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Burn their Asherah poles and cut down their carved idols. Completely erase the names of their gods! Do not worship the LORD your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods. Rather, you must seek the LORD your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored… Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please, because you have not yet arrived at the place of rest, the land the LORD your God is giving you as your special possession… You must celebrate there in the presence of the LORD your God with your sons and daughters and all your servants. And remember to include the Levites who live in your towns, for they will receive no allotment of land among you… You must eat these in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose. Eat them there with your children, your servants, and the Levites who live in your towns, celebrating in the presence of the LORD your God in all you do… When the LORD your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land, do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’ You must not worship the LORD your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.

I know the question you must ask as did I – Why would a God of love direct His people to cause such destruction to their enemy’s property and idols? Is there no room for secularism in God’s eyes? (more…)

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Numbers 26 (NLT) After the plague had ended, the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war”… These were the clans of Reuben. Their registered troops numbered 43,730… These were the clans of Simeon. Their registered troops numbered 22,200… These were the clans of Gad. Their registered troops numbered 40,500… These were the clans of Judah. Their registered troops numbered 76,500… These were the clans of Issachar. Their registered troops numbered 64,300… These were the clans of Zebulun. Their registered troops numbered 60,500… These were the clans of Manasseh. Their registered troops numbered 52,700… These were the clans of Ephraim… Their registered troops numbered 32,500… These were the clans of Benjamin. Their registered troops numbered 45,600… These were the Shuhamite clans of Dan. Their registered troops numbered 64,400… These were the clans of Asher. Their registered troops numbered 53,400… These were the clans of Naphtali. Their registered troops numbered 45,400… In summary, the registered troops of all Israel numbered 601,730… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list. The men from the Levite clans who were one month old or older numbered 23,000. But the Levites were not included in the registration of the rest of the people of Israel because they were not given an allotment of land when it was divided among the Israelites… Not one person on this list had been among those listed in the previous registration taken by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, “They will all die in the wilderness.” Not one of them survived except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Like any chapter that lists genealogies, this could easily be passed by as another long list of meaningless names but nothing is mentioned without reason in the Bible and therefore we must wonder how God is able to speak to us through it. (more…)


2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 17-18
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ… But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

As a child, I always wanted to serve in the army and I loved reading books related to wars. My Dad had a collection of books that I would often take and read and picture myself in those situations. I dreamt of being a member of the winning side and our victories were hard fought but well won. Superheroes were great too but the fun of being a part of a group of men fighting side by side was a lot more appealing to me. As I grew up, I realized that I was not the athlete I dreamt I was and my strength was more in the area of encouraging others and building relationships, not fighting battles. Then I was saved by the grace of God and now I’m in the army, albeit a different one!

As Paul states so rightly, we are fighting a battle but not one that is fought on the battlefields with weapons that cause physical harm to anyone. Our battle is fought against the forces of evil that seek to devour every man, woman and child and keep them away from the saving grace of God. What the world does not see is how they are held captive by Satan who might be unseen but is very real. Everyday I adorn the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and step out in battle and my joy is in knowing that my Lord Jesus Christ has won the battle when He rose from the dead. My strength lies in the Lord and so is my confidence. Are you in the same battle with me or are you living under the grips of sin in Satan’s kingdom?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ephesians 6:14-18 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.


Acts 19:23-27
About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

As we continue to journey with Paul through his travels around Turkey, Greece, Italy and the surrounding regions to preach the gospel, we see how the Holy Spirit has been working in and through Paul, the new believers and the brothers who work with Paul to extend God’s dominion in those lands. The signs were obvious and the truth was revealed to everyone so that many submitted themselves before Jesus and accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. This certainly had an impact on trades that were reliant on the religions of the land as people now had no need of idols, sacrifices, etc. Demetrius represented the silversmiths but the big gathering was anyone who was part of this community serving the worshippers of the Gods of that land. What a devastating effect it must have had on their trade?

Even today, many of us go through life with such a myopic view of God. We define God in a certain way and are unwilling to change that perspective, even if it means it hinders our walk with Him. Denominations, rituals, idols and all the paraphernalia seems to occupy us more than loving and serving God. Lets not be Demetrius’ and be locked in our cages of rigid understanding. Lets open our minds and ask God to lead us to a better understanding of who He is, what he wants of us and follow His lead. We have the Bible which is God’s word to us and that should be our compass in our life. The Holy Spirit is given to us to direct us to God and is available to every believer.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Luke 2:25-35
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

It is instances such as the one above which reveal in very small parts the complexity and the perfectness of God’s working in our lives. When we read this chapter, we understand Jesus to be the not so common child that most parents are used to. What’s even more amazing is the amazement that Mary and Joseph show when things are revealed to them about Jesus starting with the Shepherds arriving in the manger looking for him, then Simeon’s blessing and prophecy, then the prophetess Anna prophesying about Jesus, and Jesus telling them he was at home in the temple when he was a young child left behind. This calling of parenting the son of God was not an easy one specially when his whole development was God ordained and so divine. As parents, they experienced Jesus in as much awe as we experience him as our Lord and Savior but only that the relationship for them was reversed wherein they were his human parents too.

As we live our lives, what God calls us to do is to live it with purpose, not an earthly, selfish, self-centered one focussing on I, me and myself. Jesus welcomes us as we are in our imperfectness to surrender ourselves to him, he then cleanses us through his shed blood on the cross spilled for us, transforms us to make us a new creation in him and fills us with the holy spirit to lead us in our new purpose filled lives. His expectation of us from that point onwards is to live seeking his direction and leading rather than doing things in our own wisdom. Simeon served God faithfully and received the blessing of holding the savior of the world in his hands before he passed away. What a great joy for him and what a great joy it is for us that when we submit ourselves to our maker, we will not just hold him for a moment but he will hold us for an eternity and never let go!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Christmas Bokeh