Posts Tagged ‘Gentiles’


Revelation 11:1-4 Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.” These two prophets are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of all the earth.

Fear grips me as I read further into the book of revelation not only because of God’s revelation of what is to come but also because I am not certain if I will be able to share with you the right understanding of these prophetic words.

Descriptions are mind boggling and putting them in perspective really is a challenge in research but I do know that God gave us His word to study and use for our spiritual growth and it is our responsibility to read His word with His guidance for our spiritual growth and so we continue.

Of all the text of this chapter, I was keen to understand God’s purpose in giving John the reed to measure the temple, then understand why the gentiles and the outer court would not be included in the measurement and the significance of the two witnesses.

Sometimes I wonder why God uses such complex ways of communicating to us and whether there is anything for us to learn in this day and age from such ancient texts? (more…)

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Galatians 1:15-17, 22-24
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus… I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they praised God because of me.

Salvation is a choice or are we chosen by God is a debate that has gone on for a long time among Christians because it then means we have or do not have the freedom of choice. Paul states in his letter that he was set apart from birth by God and called into God’s presence by God’s grace which means that Paul had little choice about the matter. However, we also need to remember that Paul lived a life that was causing more harm than good to the children of God before his conversion and God did not stop him until the day he was traveling on the road to Damascus. So now we know that Paul did have choice but eventually did not. What is God trying to say to us?

We will never fully understand God because we are limited by our human minds but we will continue to learn about God as we seek him every moment. We know that God’s purposes will be achieved no matter what and that every knee will bow before Him and acknowledge Him as God because His word states that. In that assurance we can rest and we can continue to share the gospel for we know not who might and might not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior but we do know that the Lord’s name will be glorified and He has won the final battle over Satan and sin. I pray people will know me as a sinner saved by God’s grace and that Christ will be glorified as I continue to yearn for Him and serve Him with my mind, body and spirit.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”


1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12-13, 27
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit… Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

Paul writes much about gifts of the Holy Spirit in this chapter and I recommend you read it well to understand it. The Bible tells us that we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is at work in us transforming us from inside out to make us like Jesus and empowers us to serve God in many ways. Different believers have different gifts that collectively serve God and Paul weeds out the confusion regarding this gifting because in our paradigm, we think each one should have the same gifts and don’t appreciate the variety that adds up to glorifying God collectively.

Yesterday we reflected on communion which is a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus. In 1 Cor. 10:17, Paul reminds us that ‘Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread‘. We are all different in our cultures, colors, languages, etc. but we all are bound in love by Jesus that makes us family. Similarly in our gifting, we are all differently gifted but collectively serve God to glorify Him alone. No one of us is greater or lesser because of our gifting and also Jesus reminds us in Luke 9:48 that whoever is the least among us is the greatest. Let us seek our spiritual gifts from God to use it for His glory and lets work together to build His kingdom.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 10:12-13, 21-22, 31-33
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it… You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?… So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Today’s chapter is power-packed in that it is so pregnant with meaning that I wish I could use it to write out several devotionals but instead I chose parts that make a sense of the whole. Paul seems to be using the word caution all through this chapter and I hope you can also get a sense of it by reading the chapter. First he warns that we should not become idolaters, then about not sharing God with the God’s of this world and finally to be aware of our actions keeping our final goal in mind.

As I continue to walk with the Lord, one of my many battles I face is that I think I know and therefore I do. In our human minds, we like to take control of things and in the same manner, we like to believe we know something because of the length of time we have been associated or exposed to it. However, Paul warns us not to take the Lord for granted.
Temptation is real and while we are given only as much as we can take, we can fall into it if we don’t run away from its lure. Let’s constantly reflect our spiritual walk in the mirror of the cross and let’s not forget that it cost our Lord His own blood to buy us our eternal freedom!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 10:1-4
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

The Jews are marked by religiosity and religious fervour that few others share and it is something that amazes me. Paul testifies of it in the passage above when he refers to them as zealous. However, he states that their zeal for God is not based on knowledge and this is where they are lost. I am certain that to the Jews, we Christians are lost in following Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and this causes the great divide. So, is Christ the undoing of the law as stated above?

For thousands of years, the Jews have been trying to live up to the law and follow its requirements but have faltered and therefore offer sacrifices as atonement for their sins. This is being done in wait of the Messiah who will redeem them and establish them as His own. In Christ, all the requirements of the law were met, in his death the ultimate sacrifice for mankind was made and in his resurrection, the assurance of life eternal for those who believe is confirmed. He is the Messiah for the Jews and Gentiles alike and waits (patiently) for those who believe to come and submit their lives to him and accept his gift of forgiveness and salvation. He is the fulfillment of the law and in Him, there is righteousness for all who believe. Are you still trying to live up to the law or can you see the truth in Jesus?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 8:22-25
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In a world where success needs to be measured, I often get caught up in the rat race even when it comes to my spiritual life. This morning was one of those days when I prayed asking God to enhance or improve my ministry of His Word because I felt that I was not effective and lives didn’t seem to be touched. I was corrected by Him immediately as He let me know that I was serving him and he was the one who determined success, not me. God orchestrates human thought and creates opportunities for the lost to hear his voice and we as servants of God are called to serve him faithfully. Why is it so hard for me to understand for I have often visited these crossroads in my faith walk?

As the earth quakes and groans in anticipation of the coming King, all mankind seem to be asking and wondering who or what is in control and what next? We Christians know the truth and are eager to be redeemed from the darkness of this world and have our hope in Jesus’ return. If our hope shifts from an unseen goal (His return) to measureable goals as I had this morning, there seems to be nothing to look forward to and we are soon lost like the world. We therefore need to refocus our hope in Jesus’ coming and serve him faithfully without counting the cost or measuring the results.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 18:1b, 4-6, 9-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth… Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”… One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

For a long while, I imagined Paul to be a strong and courageous man for his ability to speak out against what was not right and stand up for the gospel. In today’s passage, we see another side of Paul; we see fear and frustration in a man devoted to the cause. So much so that God had to reassure him in a vision. Paul in his ministry traveled significantly with one goal in mind – to serve Jesus to the world and now he seems lost. What happened to Paul? Had he lost his drive and passion? Was it the strength of the opposition or the lack of support in his ministry? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning?

Like many, we tend to put our faith in things we can see and touch and so in Paul, we drew confidence from his powerful ministry and life because he is a person we can relate to. However, we are reminded again that Paul is not the role model we need to follow but Christ. Paul, like you and me, is a servant of God and lived to glorify God, not himself. We need to be focussed on Jesus and draw strength and direction from Him. As human as Paul was, he could only see opposition and hardened hearts but God sees the big picture and directed him to continue to serve. We need to ask God to show us the way to serve him and we need to give it our all. The reason should not be self glory but God’s glory and our eyes need to fixed on Jesus throughout.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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