Posts Tagged ‘Resurrection’


Exodus 4:1,10-11,13-14,24-26,31 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’”… But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”… But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart… At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision… And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Moses doubts repeatedly and God quells each of his doubts with miraculous gifts that confound imagination and obviously work in establishing what Moses was sent for to the elders of Israel.

However, the threat to Moses’ life by God Himself is a strange incident and Zipporah’s response seems very crude. What was all that about and what is God’s word for us today? (more…)


Genesis 25:21-23,27-34 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger”… When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

This chapter tells us of the last years of Abraham’s life when he took another wife and had children with her and then decided to get right before God and gives Isaac his entire wealth and gives the children of his new wife, Keturah, gifts and sends them away.

Quite a let down from a righteous man such as Abraham but at his deathbed, both his sons Isaac and Ishmael are present together and they bury him in the same grave as his wife, Sarah. This is wonderful after years of animosity because of Abraham and Sarah’s poor choice in using Hagar as a surrogate mother.

Finally we read about Isaac and Rebekah’s twins who were born as an answer to prayer. Why do the people of God seem to have such tough situations in their lives compared to others one wonders?

Jacob, through whom was born the twelve sons who formed the twelve tribes of Israel, was not entitled to the birthright of being the one to lead Israel. He stole the birthright from his older brother Esau for a mere bowl of red lentil soup!

It is hard to imagine that Jesus, the son of God, was born of Abraham’s lineage which was full of broken men and women. All of these stories don’t show Jesus’ ancestry in good light and makes us wonder what God is speaking to us through it? (more…)


1 Peter 3:13-18
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.

As I interact with people at work, in my neighborhood, through common friends, etc. I have come to realize that there are two different worlds we live in because our calling and motivations are different. The two worlds are diametrically opposite because of who heads each world and it is obvious. Two challenges we face in living in both worlds are to be able to determine which side we are on and then to hold to our beliefs for the glory of the way we believe is right. I am a christian and I find that as much as I try, my calling requires me to stand apart from those who are not and show them the one who called me from darkness into light. The result is that I face the jeers of those who are not Christian as they are happy being in their skin and living in their knowledge or lack of. What does God have to say to those of us who He has saved from the darkness into His light? (more…)


John 6:52-58
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”

If I were among the hearers of what Jesus said on that day in Capernaum, I would’ve been very confused. When Jesus spoke of us eating his flesh and drinking his blood to have eternal life, it must have sounded so terrible to those around him. He also spoke of his death and resurrection but in the context of tearing down the Church and rebuilding it back in 3 days and that was mysterious but post his death and resurrection, everything made sense but yet only to those whom God had chosen to reveal himself to. What did Jesus mean by us eating his flesh and drinking his blood? What significance does it have in terms of eternity?

To understand this, we need to understand what Jesus came to do among us. God the father sent his son Jesus to life a perfect and blameless life and die an unjustified death to permit us to have access to him. This access was denied because we are found unclean before a holy and righteous God. Through Jesus’s death, we have the perfect sacrifice for our sins which can otherwise never be washed away. When we accept Jesus into our lives, our sins are washed clean by his blood and we are a new creation. The blood signifies the sacrifice Jesus made to clean us inside out and the body signifies the body of Christ that we are now a part of. Without accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior and admitting our brokenness to him, we will never have peace and the assurance of eternity. Are you part of the body of Christ and are you proud to say that you are a hopeless sinner saved by God’s grace alone? I am!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Deer in Motion


Luke 24:1-7, 25-26, 46-49
…the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus… two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”… He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”… He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

It seems like for centuries, people have battled most with the concept of Jesus rising from the dead. Something completely out of the natural order of things and beyond human comprehension. I cannot imagine how difficult it must’ve been for the disciples who even though they were prepped about it did not realize it. In today’s day and age, we have the powerful medium of cinema which helps us believe more than the improbable. Star Wars, Back to the Future, Avatar and so many more movies help our mind go beyond the reasonable and often people start to believe in fiction to a point of death. However, in those days, this was not something anyone was willing to accept and tore the world apart. Believing in a miracle working man was hard enough, now to contend with the fact that he had absolute control over death and life was just impossible and anyone who believed such a message was considered a lunatic for obvious reasons.

When I read the passages above, what struck me was the statement the angels made to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb. Why do we look for the living among the dead? While it sounds so simple, there is significant meaning in it and Jesus himself explains it to the disciples in person after that. The question for us is the same. Are we following a dead or a living God? Are we mourning Christ’s death or celebrating his resurrection and sharing the joy of salvation through him with those around us? Are you joyous about his victory over sin and death or are you still beating yourself up about his physical death? We do however have to be cautious here not to overlook the sacrifice but instead to put it in perspective to our sinfulness and the hope that he gives us beyond the grave. I pray you like me are encouraged to go out and share the good news to those who are sinners like us and in need of a savior?

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. Share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement.

Baby Elephant


Mark 7:25b-30
A woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

I wonder if I would have the wisdom of the Syrophoenician woman when Jesus speaks to me in parables because I consider myself very dumb when I read passages like this one selected above. This lady came to Jesus in pain and had a desperate need for Jesus’ miraculous touch on her daughter who was demon possessed. However, she was not Jew and Jesus was there to save the lost sheep of Israel. Would she have any place before a foreign God whose objectives seemed different? In times of desperation, do we seek anything that will give us a solution to our problems?

What Jesus asked her was whether it was right for him to turn his attention to the gentiles before he was done with the Jews and her response showed him that she knew Jesus was here to save sinners, not just a race of people. She must’ve noticed it in the sarcastic language Jesus used to describe gentiles or in his manner of speaking but her answer was apt. I often feel like a servant before Jesus, my Lord, whose crumbs I am not fit to take. In Christ, we have victory from the dominion of sin and suffering because through his death and resurrection, we have the hope of eternity. We all have needs and I know today the Lord speaks to me as clearly as he speaks to you that he wants for us to put our faith in him and know that he will answer our pleas in an amazing way!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Man Made Beauty or A Concrete Jungle?


Mark 4:26-29
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Jesus spoke in parables and sometimes I wonder why not just plain talk but that doubt was clarified in v11 where he said that the secrets of the kingdom of God are revealed to those God chooses to reveal it to and not to those who God chooses not to. Today’s parable seems so obvious and I would wonder why some people dint get it but as I read it again, I realized that to understand it, one first needs to understand God’s will for our own lives. This parable was spoken in the spiritual sense and has to do with what God commanded us to do in Matthew 28:19-20 when he gave us the great commission. He commanded us to go and share the good news of salvation through his own death and resurrection and the new hope that we have of knowing where we are headed beyond this physical body.

As servants of God, our primary calling is to serve God and not ourselves. After we are saved, our new lives are not to be lived for our old selves but for our maker and creator who saved us from certain death and the fires of hell. For this great blessing, we are called to go out and share this great news of forgiveness and hope which is free to all men. A serious challenge we face with this commission is our minds which makes us wonder how we can share the good news because we may not be good speakers like Moses, worry about loosing friends when we talk things that they don’t appreciate, etc. However, we need to realize that God saved us not because of anything we did but because he wanted to bless us and we need to go out and shamelessly share this same good news and not worry about the result because that is God’s work. Are you willing to stand us for your savior? If yes, do it shamelessly for the Lord and if no, seek God’s help to know how you can serve him.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Bridge Over Calm Waters