Posts Tagged ‘Understand’


2 Peter 3:8-13

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

As I continue to listen to the news from around the world, it seems more and more apparent that the only possible change in our world  for sanity and peaceable living is a total reconstruction of humanity but that would not work because we will remain sinful and continue to be selfish by nature, therefore bringing us back to where we are. Some of us might live in very surroundings and are possibly sheltered from the harsh realities of the 21st century but a brief glance at world news will show us how broken our world is. Also, the peaceful lives that we lead are often peaceful because we are made to think that everything is well but a simple dipstick check of how people are doing around us will show that everyone is strained by the burden of suffering. People with more worry because they have more to lose, those with less worry about how they will survive and those in-between are never at peace about where they are. In all this confusion called life, where is God and what is the answer He offers us? (more…)


2 Peter 1:16, 19-21
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty… And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

One of the joys of knowing God is that He has given us His word to know Him, to hear from Him, to learn about Him, and therefore to be directed by Him alone. As Christians in today’s fast paced life, we tend to like everything spoon fed to us and so instead of making the effort to seek God through His word, we seek Him through people we consider inspired by Him and who therefore are able to minister to us most effectively because what they preach is God’s word and what we are therefore directed to do is God’s will. Is that not what God is directing us to understand from the passage above? (more…)


1 Corinthians 14:1-4, 39-40
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church… Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

With our feet based on a foundation of love, Paul encourages us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. He clearly explains that the gift of prophecy is of more value than the gift of tongues because of the basic fact that it edifies the church rather than self and our goal is to love others as God loves us. Rather than getting into which gifts, what they are and how to use them, God’s direction to me from today’s chapter was the whys of spiritual gifts. Why are we given spiritual gifts?

Our spiritual gifts are given to us to edify the church through the working of the Holy Spirit in us. We are reminded in 1 Peter 4:10 ‘Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.’ Again in 1 Cor. 12:7 we are reminded that these gifts are for the common good. We now know that God has given all believers spiritual gifts, that we should desire them and when they are given to us that we should use them to serve Him to the world. Paul also reminds us about using these gifts in an orderly and fitting way because they are from God and God is orderly, not chaotic.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 2:11-13
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

Understanding the Holy Spirit was one of the hardest aspects of my faith walk. I often wondered what it looked like, what changes occurred in me, what others saw in me to show fruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in me and so on. For someone who is still at the foot of the faith mountain, I am learning the hard way by asking, reading, seeking, praying and God who is the most patient teacher helps me understand Him bit by bit, day by day. Today as I read Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth regarding the Holy Spirit, my eyes opened to one more truth.

The fragrance of a rose is always going to that of a rose. Plant it among sunflowers or in the forest and it’s fragrance should be that of a rose. We as humans will continue to operate as humans, sinful in our thinking and always causing more damage to ourselves and our environment. However, when we are no longer driven by the same spirit that drives us to act like humans, things change. This is not possible naturally because by nature, we are still human. However, when we are born again by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are filled with God’s own spirit, which transforms us from the very core. We are no longer driven by human desire but by God’s heart. We still have the ability to choose and sometimes make bad choices but the spirit burdens our conscience which brings us back on our knees before the Lord asking for forgiveness. Paul here reminds us that we are driven by this spirit, the Holy Spirit, and therefore our wisdom is God’s wisdom and our understanding is His. Praise God for His goodness to us!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Matthew 17:14-20

…a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:21 (NAS)

“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

 

Today there were 3 major events in the chapter including the transfiguration of Jesus, the healing of the demon possessed boy and the payment of the temple tax. All 3 teach us key learning but this healing and the faith required is what caught my attention. It seems like Jesus was frustrated and this prompted me to read it again. Yes, he certainly was frustrated but not at the boy’s father who approached him. His frustration was focused on his disciples whom he felt did not exercise faith, even faith the size of a mustard seed. Now that is really hard for us to understand because we are dealing with the spiritual world and not the physical and to understand this faith, what would it take us?

Interestingly enough, the NIV did not have verse 21 and when I looked around, I found that it was available in most other versions like the NAS given above. Jesus said clearly that we need to exercise faith but this is possible only through prayer and fasting and therefore we needed to draw from God and not from our own selves. This is not something we would attain sitting under a tree and meditating on our inner self but rather, something we would need to ask God for by focusing our attention on Him. Also, we need to remember that this faith is not for our personal gain but for the extension of God’s kingdom here on Earth. It is spoken in a spiritual realm and we should not misconstrue it. Have you exercised your faith in recent times? Is that what the Lord wants us to do?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet