Posts Tagged ‘Message’


Numbers 22:1,2,6,12,13,16-20,22,28,32,33,37 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites… “Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse”… But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you”… They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!” But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.” That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do”… But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along… Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam… “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey”… “Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?” Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”

A bizarre story it seems and what is with all the confusion about God saying go and then threatening Balaam with death when he does go? How does this relate to us today? (more…)

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1 John 1:5-9
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Sometimes I wonder what it must’ve been for the apostles to live with the Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and to serve Him? What a privilege that God chose them over the wise and the learned men of Israel to be His own disciples. Imagine their self-doubt when they were called to share the good news of Jesus to the world that had just killed their messiah! Even with all the opposition, they lived lives that showed their real belief in Jesus Christ and eventually succumbed to their beliefs by dying painful deaths themselves. In all of the Bible, there seems to be no great earthly benefit of following Christ and add to that today’s passage that confuses us about our righteousness. What is God saying to us? (more…)


Colossians 4:2-6, 18
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone… I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Back in ’77, my Granddad (Dad’s) passed away, then in April ’99, my father-in-law passed away (2 days after my son’s birth) and then in November 2003, I lost my Dad (The day before his 55th birthday) and in a couple months, my Mom’s Dad passed away too. This left me without a physical Dad to look up to and that was when my dependance on God the Father became total. This year, father’s day was the day I remembered each of my Dads and most importantly, the one Dad I will never lose who means the world to me and who loves me so much that He gave up what was most special to Him to bring me closer to Him. Today’s passage does not remind us of father’s day and you must wonder why I mentioned my Dads in this post?

In the life of Jesus and the apostles, the one thing that marked them was their reliance on God being their father. Everything they did was after praying to God the Father for His wisdom, leading, correction, anointing, or direction. Paul reminds us as followers of Christ that we are to be devoted to prayer and live a life evidencing the grace that saved us. The start and sustenance of our faith is God the Father who made all things possible so that we might be created and brought into communion with Him through the shedding of His son’s blood for our unrighteousness. Without our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in our lives, we would not exist and our lives would be meaningless. I pray that today each of us will remember our Father in Heaven and celebrate Him as we celebrate the lives of our Dads. I pray for us Dads that we will pray for God’s leading in our lives to be Fathers like He is and that we will live to serve our families as Christ lived to serve His church, us.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him

 

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1 Corinthians 1:13, 17-18
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul…? For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Start of a new month and we begin our 7th book of the New Testament, a letter from Paul to the Corinthians written around 56-59 A.D. As you can read from the verses collated above, Paul hits hard at the Church in Corinth about key issues starting with their break-away factions. As we sit at the cross glorifying Jesus during this resurrection weekend, Paul asks us a question about our identity in Christ and questions our intelligence. What is our response to the question, ‘What kind of Christian are you – Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, or Orthodox’?

My Dad was protestant and Mom orthodox and we went to the protestant church most of the year but during school holidays would visit catholic and orthodox churches in my grandparent’s native places. A dear brother in Christ asked me a few years back what Christian I was and I tried to explain my denomination. In response he simply introduced himself as a Bible believing Christian. How simple and true is that. We are followers of Christ Jesus and serve Him, not denominations. We may be different in our race, language, ways of worship, geographic locations, etc. but we are one family in Christ redeemed by His blood and made anew. Lets not empty the cross of Christ by applying our human wisdom to God but instead lets stand together as grateful newborns praising God for His abundant mercy and grace.

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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