Posts Tagged ‘Loss’


Exodus 22:9,20-23,25,28-29,31 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double to his neighbor… “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed. “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry… “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest… “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people. “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. “You must give me the firstborn of your sons… “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.

It is obvious that God wanted to set out clearly what His expectation for the Israelites were through of the detail in the laws He laid down for them. The ten commandments were the foundations of the law and each of these laws reflect them in nature and character.

It must have been a great relief to Moses and the elders of Israel that they now had a structure to work in and under and thereby could keep up order among the masses. (more…)


Revelation 18:1-3,8-11 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality”… “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more

As I read chapter 18, my mind raced through the many countries, cities, power houses, etc. that could be referred here. Is it the commercial capitals of the world, the gambling cities, the largest corporations that drive the world economies??

Who could this great Babylon be and what could her sins be that God is so furious with her? Why is God so furious at this great city and what is He speaking to us this day through this great warning? (more…)


Philippians 3:7-9, 20-21
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith… But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

As I continue on my journey with Christ, I realize that layer by layer, He is peeling off my dependencies on this world, my selfishness, my hardheartedness, my deceitfulness, my pride, my strength, my abilities and everything that is in me which I spent 33 years gaining and is replacing it with Him in me. I might sound like I am boasting but in reality, this is most embarrassing because to the world, I am quickly becoming a misfit as I am not norming to it. I realize day by day that as I walk with Him and share Him in my life, people consider me ‘religious’ and weird and I am quickly losing the world but hopefully gaining Christ. Is that what Jesus is asking of us?

Paul born a Jew, circumcised as per Jewish customs on the eight day by a Jew, was of the tribe of Benjamin, was a Hebrew by blood, was a Pharisee with the zeal of one which showed in his persecution of the church and was legalistic in his righteousness and faultless to the Jews. For him to change would not be possible but God did change him and God then turned his life around by shedding every inch of the old him and replacing it with Christlikeness. We are reminded today that whatever we have gained here on earth on our own is worthless in comparison to what God gives us when we put our faith in Him. We get a new genetic code, a new citizenship, righteousness from comes from Him alone and a new body to live a glorious life with Him for eternity. If that is not worth losing self for, what is?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Jeremiah 9:23,24 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

As I read through this chapter that talks about divisions in the Church, I wondered what else was new about this topic that we could learn about. We know that we are called to worship God as Bible believing Christians and not as denominations because soon the denomination defines us and our values and not Christ. We are quickly driven by the ones leading the denomination or the ones who influenced them rather than the one who created them and used them for His own glory. Here Paul digs deeper about evangelism when he says in v7: So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

We are called into God’s service by Jesus when He gave out the great commission and this was based on the authority that God the father gave Jesus. Our calling is to serve God to the lost and doing everything in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, not out own. For everything that we build for God will be tested severely to determine it’s worth and if there is anything that is found offensive to God, it will burn away and what will remain is our faith. Therefore as in building Churches, drawing people to Christ or even walking with Christ, we are assured that we will be put to the test and we better have sowed right for we will otherwise be burned severely. Lets resubmit our lives, our ministries and our walk to Christ and ask Him to lead, direct and be glorified rather than being scorched in the fire.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Acts 27:21-25
After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

Eventually Paul was sentenced to prison based on King Agrippa’s ruling and this began a treacherous but significant journey for Paul, the other prisoners, the guards and the crew of the ship transporting them. Against Paul’s advice, the centurion, based on the ship crew’s advice, decided to proceed to Phoenix because they believed it to be safer to berth the vessel there rather than Crete. Paul spoke up after many days of suffering in the storm and gave them an assurance of safety revealed to him by an angel of God. This might have sounded reassuring to those seeking God’s intervention or ridiculous to those who were cold to the very mention of God. What is God saying to us this morning?

We like to hear good things about ourselves and our situations and dislike being corrected. Paul’s initial warning might have sounded silly to anyone who had no faith in Paul or his God or to anyone who felt they knew better. Doesn’t that sound like us? We would rather focus on reading what astrologers have to say because they always have nice things for us than read God’s word which seems harsh and painful. God’s direction is like our parent’s advice that seems hard and painful but really is meant to build us up. We need to open our hearts and minds to Jesus through his word because through obedience to him, we have an assurance of salvation, forgiveness of our sins and an eternity in God’s presence whereas without him, we have the world and all the frustrations and disappointments that come with it.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


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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