Posts Tagged ‘I’


2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 12
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich… For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

I have always been uncomfortable about messages on giving because I fear it takes away from the essence of Jesus. In my head, I separate finances from the spiritual realm as they don’t seem to fit together well or so I thought. This morning, as I read Paul’s recommendation on giving, I saw new meaning to it. That added with our present situation of trying to buy a home with the limited resources we have plus our non-existent credit history has opened my eyes to a new facet in our walk with the Lord. When I first started putting money in the offertory as a little boy, my understanding of giving was that it was a fee we paid, and as I grew up, it felt like buying favors with God. After I was saved, it became a joyous offering of what God gave me.

However, my understanding of giving was limited to finances. As I progressed in my walk with the Lord, I learnt that giving was in all areas of our lives and what we gave was the first fruits of what we had, whether it be our time, our love, our service, our efforts, our participation, etc. When we note that our Lord Jesus was rich, our minds construe it as wealth and we feel sad for what he sacrificed in terms of wealth. What Jesus actually sacrificed was much more and that includes being in the presence of God, something He valued so much that He wanted us to have. The riches Jesus wanted us to have were not simply material comforts but the abounding grace of God. To the blind, the greatest gift is not a lottery but the gift of sight. To the dying, the greatest gift is life. To the materially unsatisfied dying soul, the greatest gift they can have is a fullness of joy that no money can buy, a lifetime of guilt free living, an eternity in the presence of God to enjoy His glory and grace and many more such things that we can never buy. Jesus became poor so that through his poverty and sacrifice, we may become rich in a way no man can be through their own efforts. Are you rich and if so, is that going to satisfy your soul’s cravings?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Philippians 2:5-7 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…


2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Finding the right life partner seems like the hardest thing for us today. The institution of marriage has become a joke to the world because a significant portion of all marriages end up in divorce, separation, pain, frustration and disappointments. Non-committal relationships are the norm where people do not have a marriage covenant to live by and therefore enjoy the comforts of being in a relationship without the strings of attachment. In this day and age, where is the room for us believers to find our husbands or wives among other believers? Is this concept even relevant today?

Our walk with the Lord is a relationship, not a religion and the basis of our relationship is love, God’s perfect love. When God accepts us as His children, He sanctifies us and transform us into His likeness and make us His own. As God made us men and women, He has also ordained for us life partners in this world, if that is our need, and these partners are not just partners of choice but partners in the gospel. Our spouses are a pillar of support in our relationship with God and therefore God commanded us to be married to believers. Today is Mother’s Day, celebrated here in Canada on Sunday May 9, and I am reminded of the character of a noble wife in Proverbs 31:10-31.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies…
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Lets remember to honor God in our relationships, specially with relation to marriage. As Christ loves the Church, we are called to love our spouses and therefore lets yoke ourselves with believing spouses and Glorify God through our families.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

As a Christian, my yardstick for spiritual growth was the level of knowledge I had of God’s word, it’s intricacies, complexities, correctness, etc. Studying God’s word was done with a purpose of getting it technically right in order to understand and apply it in my life. It seems Paul was not writing just to the Corinthian Church but also to the likes of people like me, people lost in the technicalities rather than the essence of God’s message for us. I was often encouraged to seek spiritual gifts to enhance my walk with the Lord and I’ve spent significant prayer time asking God for them and less on praying for those in need of God around me. What is God saying to us today?

God’s primary purpose in sending His son Jesus into the world was to save us sinners from hell and to restore us into a right and meaningful relationship with Him. The motive was love, the sacrifice was love, the communication was in love, the blessing was in love and the entire gospel revolves around God’s eternal and amazing love. Paul reminds us that we are called to love one another and to love the lost like God loves us because the message is love and God wants us to serve him with our hearts, not with our technical prowess. Lets love God with our all and share God’s love with all.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 7:21-25
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7 is quite the chapter to read on sin and the law. Paul clearly demarcates how the law is good and pure but sin abounds in the presence of law and is in us and until we are made anew in Christ, it has dominion over us. However, he also talks about how evil is still here with us after we are saved by God’s grace and keeps trying to trip us in our walk with the Lord. Am I the only one who completely agrees or do you too?

Yesterday, I received a forward from a dear friend regarding praying before eating. A Japanese Researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto took water droplets, exposed them to various words, music, and environments, and froze them for three hours. He then examined the crystal formations under a dark field microscope. And he took photographs. The results speak for themselves. The most beautiful crystals were ones formed after praying and this shows the power of prayer which we take for granted. As we continue to battle with sin in our walk with the Lord, the weapon we have to counter it is prayer and the assurance we have of being rescued from evil is Jesus Christ our Lord. Oh what a wonderful assurance.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

PS: Do let me know if you would like me to forward you the email.


Matthew 20:9-11, 13-16, 25-28

“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner…“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”…Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

When I read this chapter, I wondered why the disciples didn’t get it? Why were they so thick that they failed to realize what the Lord was teaching them? What was preventing them from understanding Jesus? Each parable seems complex when we try to understand it in its parts but sensible when we look at it in its whole. It’s not the specifics but the larger thought that matters. However, as I read more and reflect on it, I realize that we today are not very different from the disciples and Christ’s followers of that time. We, even though much advanced in our way of life and scientific thinking suffer from the same problems as them!

In God’s universe, everything revolves around him whereas in our paradigm, we want everything to revolve around us. It’s about us and nothing more. Our needs, wants, desires, achievements, objectives, and whatnots. Even when we walk with Christ, we tend to measure our effectiveness, our success and worth by our standards and this is when we are taking away from serving God. Today, God is reminding us that we are called to serve Him and when we accept His yoke, everything changes from us to God’s wants, needs and desires and success is not for us to measure but for God to relish. We should be grateful for having been given a chance of eternity and being looked at by God the father as worthy of inclusion only by the shed blood of his son, Jesus Christ. Our privilege is to serve God, not God serve us.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet