Posts Tagged ‘Heart’


2 Corinthians9:6-8
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Last evening, a friend that I recently made in the public transit called me to share a marital challenge he was facing. On the face of it, the issue was severe and the expected result was a divorce. My friend was broken inside and did not know what needed to be done and was kind enough to call me. We spoke about the issue at length and being married myself for 12 years to a wonderful woman, I related to the challenges he was facing and by God’s grace was able to advice him. Marriages and giving do not have much in common or so we think and I hope you wonder where I am going with this?

God created woman to be a support to her man, gave her the grace to cope with the many roles she plays in support of her family, gave her the wisdom to counsel her husband without making him feel less of a man, and made her the perfect companion to a man. God also ordained for man and woman to be one after marriage and therefore to act as one and give as one. When we are able to sow in love at home into our marriages, we will reap the fruits of it in every area of our lives, especially in our walk with the Lord. This will bring out the oneness that God desires in us. We can then go out and sow and the blessing will be manifold. When we cheerfully give of ourselves as Christ gave of himself for his bride, the church, we are blessed abundantly and more importantly God is glorified. I hope your giving does not stop with finances?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.


2 Corinthians 3:6, 15-18 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life… Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

My hair stands on end when I read each new chapter in this letter of Paul because of how clearly the wisdom of God is shown to us through it. Paul was but a broken person transformed by the Holy Spirit that spoke God’s words through him and I hope we do not worship Paul but rather worship the one Paul glorified, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As you read this passage above, I hope you ask the questions, what is this letter that kills and what freedom do we actually gain?

The Israelites were give the 10 commandments by God and it was impossible for anyone then and even today to fulfill these commandments and meet God’s basic requirement for righteousness because of our carnal sinful nature. This law was given new life through Christ because through His death, we now have a secure hope of being found righteous in God’s eyes and are not held back by trying to fulfill the law. We are filled with the Holy Spirit when we turn to the Lord and are freed from the captivity of sin, being now transformed by the Holy Spirit into the likeness of Jesus Christ so that we can live forever in His presence glorifying Him with our all. We are purposed to showcase God’s glory in us to give hope to the lost and to transform humanity from the captivity of sin to an eternal freedom in Christ!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.


Romans 15:5-6
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As I read the above passage of scripture, I dwelt upon how Paul talks to us as individuals and as a team, giving us direction. In recent times, watching sport has caught my fancy courtesy the winter Olympics and Paralympics that took place here in Vancouver a few weeks back. Several events were individual and the rest were team events. Every medal was a joy whether individual or team but what it all added up to was victory for the country they represented.

The Church is supposed to mean the body of Christ (Not the building) and we are the bride to the most wonderful and perfect groom, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. In our daily walk, we are ambassadors for Christ in our homes, communities, schools, workplaces, etc. and we are called to serve Christ’s love for all to all. We are therefore individual and team players and are called to be united under the banner of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to serve Him because of what He did for us and not to dwell on our differences. Our joy is to revel in the joy of serving the King of Kings and not to argue like the disciples about who is to sit and the right or the left of Jesus in heaven. I pray we are encouraged to simply serve Jesus!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 2:25-27
Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

Mosaic Law requires Jews to be circumcised and without this, one was not called a Jew. The ritual is performed by a ‘Mohel’ (not by a doctor) on the 8th day after a male child is born to Jewish parents, else it is not accepted. When a child is circumcised, he is accepted into the Covenant of Abraham and that is key to being God’s chosen people. Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Rome and some were Jews while the rest were Gentiles (Non-Jews). Why is Paul’s instruction to Jews vital to the us today?

When we accept Christ as our risen Lord and Savior we are brought into God’s family and have an inheritance that can never be taken away. From that moment on, we are ambassadors for Christ in our daily lives and we bear our new family name. This is a big and joyous event but when we fail to appreciate it every moment of our lives, we can fall away and become like the world therefore loosing our testimony and bringing dishonor to God. Paul reminds us that we no longer live for ourselves but for our Lord Jesus who sacrificed himself to save us from the pits of hell and that we need to protect our testimony every moment of our lives. Lets not be called ritualistic people, rather lets live our faith in our lives.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 15:1-2, 7-11
Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them…Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

As you must probably be aware, the winter Olympics is currently taking place here in Vancouver, Canada and the world’s best athletes are here to win the Olympic medal for their country and for themselves. These athletes are the best in their fields and had to qualify by participating in several local, regional, national and international competitions to get a chance to compete here. They are called Olympians just because they qualified and not because they won a medal. In much the same way, we believe that in every area of our lives, people need to qualify. Whether it be a job, education, a loan and even in religion. This seems to be the issue reflected in the passage above where the Gentiles (Non-Jews) were expected to be circumcised to be saved.

When Jesus came into this world, he seemed to be anti-establishment in some ways and that specifically related to areas where rituals and expectations became a part of religion. With his death, the curtain that prevented the Jews from entering the holy sanctuary in the temple was torn because through Jesus, we are given access to God directly with nothing holding us back. We never qualified to be found acceptable in the eyes of God. It is God’s mercy for us that gives us access to Him. We are reminded today to put away the rituals and pre-qualification standards we have in our minds to reach the lost for Christ. Lets go out and show the world what a loving God we serve!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts 5:3-5a, 9-10a
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died…Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.

The believers were all one in heart and mind and shared everything they had with each other. Those that had land and property sold them and brought the money to the apostles to use in the community and no one lacked anything. This is not something we can do today because we are worried how we will manage before we can worry about even our own family, forget our family in Christ. The issue highlighted in today’s passage is not just about sharing all we have with each other but about lying to the Holy Spirit. Is that an issue we face?

I have had severe difficulty dealing with lying because I lied for no reason most of my life and the Lord had to scrape it out of me in very painful ways. I am still tempted to lie about things just to sound ‘cool’ or to get away from a situation and the consequences are often dire. In the passage above, it talks about lying to the Holy Spirit and to God and this might sound alien to you but it’s really not. What Ananias and Sapphira did might have seemed like self-preservation but to the Lord, it was a break of trust. We are reminded today that we are not people of this world but God’s chosen ones and our lives are a living testimony of God`s saving grace. Therefore, we need to seek ways to glorify God and not to shame him or we will face his wrath!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 16:31-33
“You believe at last!” Jesus answered. “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

One of the facts that amazes me about Christianity is the growth of the body to a point where today it is the most followed faith and continues to grow but so also do other faiths. What was it that helped grow the faith from a small following of 12 disciples to the millions and billions of followers today? When we read the passage above, Jesus himself warns the disciples of a time when they would be scattered and dessert him during his final moments before his crucifixion. What then happened and was all lost after that point?

Earlier in the chapter, Jesus spoke about the Counselor or the Holy Spirit coming in his place. During Jesus’ ministry, several thousands heard, saw and believed but after he went to be with God the Father, his Holy Spirit worked through the few faithful to reach out to the world. Is it not amazing that most of us who follow Christ are in places far and completely disconnected from Israel? I pray that today we will be encouraged to know that God can use us wherever we are as long as we are willing and continue to build his Church. Holy Spirit, come and work in and through us for the glory of God!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.