The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become
The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become
With millions of copies being sold everyday,Bible still tops the list of best selling books over the world.But I wonder whether the proportionate amounts of lives are being transformed by it or not.Though it will surely attain a place in the book shelves of christian homes,it may not be the most often read.A man of God rightly said,
“We Christians just know some Bible verses,we don’t know Bible”
Some people worship it,some use it as a show-make on Sundays and some others feel it unfashionable to carry.
I wonder and worry why the book that transformed millions of lives couldn’t even make an impact on our loved ones.
The book that you feel shy to carry on the streets is the love letter written by your father to you.It contains the abundant love He has for you and guidelines for you to tread on this planet.People have lost lives while protecting it.People have willingly offered their lives to live for its principles.
The book that is dust laden and spider webbed on our book shelves is the one that is “God breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking,correcting and training in righteousness[2Tim 3:16]”
In a world full of confusions and purposelessness it is the “light[Ps 119:105]” that leads you along the right path.It defines you and your purpose and prepares you for eternity.Someone has fairly quoted Bible as the ‘daily bread’.It’s a daily bread to the people who[know that they] are in desperate spiritual need.
He’s gone… leaving the remnants of the memories they spent together with her.
An event happened in the past that either makes a person nostalgic or traumatic
They dreamt of a future together : earning their living,rising a family and growing older together. All those dreams were shattered by the catastrophe struck her life and there’s nothing now-absolutely nothing. Love,the sublimest of human emotions is now showing her painful and hurting part.
He’s her world. Now her world is lifeless and dried.Accident took his life away. It’s like the sharp single cut of the sword that bisected two intertwined souls and the pain of the estranged communication links is eating her away. She suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night just to find out that he’s not by her side. Tears will flow down her cheeks and dissolve in the darkness of the night.
She’s now,alone and broken hearted,walking on the road in a foggy winter morning. She entered the park they used to meet and spend time as couple. All the memories they’ve spent together rolled back and forth in time as she sat on a bench under the tree. If all her pain and grief is personified and given an intellect,only question it would ask : Why me? Why should I suffer like this? If there is,really,a God why would he allow such pain?
Watching from above,her husband is unable to bear the pain his beloved is experiencing. He decided to ask God whom he thinks is the cause of this pain. He wanted to drag God to the court of his own “justice” and file the charges of his death and her suffering. Irony is-one who cannot resist a minute temptation decided to judge the One who is just since eternity.
He entered the courts of Almighty. God sitting on the throne in unapproachable light, angels singing “Holy!Holy!Holy!Holy is the Lord Almighty!” -a frightening view. He tried to speak something but words often travel till the lips and die there.Then he turned to one of the elders there and asked him “Sir,look at my wife and her suffering. God is all powerful and can do anything and everything he pleases and He’s love,but why he allows his loved ones to suffer like that??”
Elder looked at him,took a deep sigh and all his own life experiences came to memory in fraction of seconds. With a smile on his face he answered the youngster:
“Who told you that God can do anything?Can He allow evil and call it good? Can He go against the precepts he established and make Himself unreliable? No!! You’re made in His image. He respects your ‘free will’. He cannot intervene in human affairs,even if you chose to do wrong,that makes Him disrespect and deprive you of your free will. But you are responsible for your acts and you’re going to be judged. However,God made a plan to establish a world where only righteousness lives in it.
Yes you are right:God is love. Does loving a person always means giving them whatever they desire? Can we give our children whatever they ask of? Is it not the pain of discipline that made us lead a God-fearing and happy life?
Son,God disciplines us and allows us to suffer so that we may be made fit for the purposes he had for us. God even allowed His own beloved son to suffer so that He may be made perfect to be fitting for the purpose he was called.[Heb 2:10 AMP] . Moses in wilderness,Joseph in Egypt endured suffering so that they may become useful instruments in the hands of the God. You being a husband cares for your wife this much,imagine how much more her heavenly Father loves and cares for her. His purpose of her suffering unfolds in its own time.So keep calm and place your faith in His works.”
Scar is not only the symbol of pain you’ve had but it’s also a symbol of patience you’ve shown while enduring it.
Then both departed,one with enlightened conscience and another with the satisfaction of realizing the purpose of suffering of his life on earth. Husband then fell to his knees and prayed for forgiveness and patience. Forgiveness for his rebellious heart and patience so that she can endure the pain and can see the purpose of that suffering.
We know each other. May be directly or through someone. In your school, college, business or relationships –at some point of time we’ve met or at least exchanged looks. Or you might’ve envied my stay (though a temporary one) with someone. Or you might be the one obsessed with a desire to meet me, like the Vikram in this story. Some recognize my presence with laudation and applause. They are just my adornments but I’m not them. People have written thousands of volumes of books about me. Yet their genius minds haven’t noticed (or maybe they don’t want to notice) a fact- I’m neither a master nor a slave. I’m just a consequence. More precisely an outcome of a combination – of hard work and God’s favor. I’m called ‘Success’. I’m here to tell a story .Of course not mine but one of my favorites in the recent times.
“Place: A college auditorium
Date: Somewhere in the track of History
‘And the student of the year award goes to Vikram. Three times in a row. Never before and may be never again in our college history’ – announced the Vice-principal.
Vikram-Young, intelligent, handsome and successful. A delightful and often desirable yet a dangerous set of adjectives.
Vikram stepped onto stage to receive the award. Everyone stood up to applaud him. As usual there were whistles and merry from the last rows of seats.
Among that cacophony, two things caught his attention:
Within few moments a thought flashed in his mind “I did it. This is my achievement.”(The words ‘I’ and ‘my’ are both capitalized and stressed in his heart).
I saw a plant sprouting in his heart. I know what it is. What I doesn’t know is- the havoc it brings. It’s called Pride. It can grow in any environment. In few months, the plant became tree. Its branches clouded his reasoning and its creepers blinded his inner eyes. Though it’s the initial stage, one with proper observation can notice its presence.
Primary symptom: His choice of words will change
Then I saw the flowers of carelessness blossomed. He lost all the college level competitions. Everyone thought that he was working for the University level project competition. But the fact is he didn’t care about it: neither the competition nor the result. In this perfect atmospheric conditions the tree bore its first fruit- Jealousy. He wouldn’t have cared if it were someone else who won the competitions but it’s his best friend. He moved away from his bestie (He couldn’t bear someone lauding his friend before him). He changed- from ‘I’ll correct myself’ to ‘How dare you question me’. People noticed it but they pretended as if they didn’t. ‘Coz Vikram is popular, popular for his success. Popularity covers the mistakes (of course only for a short time).
It’s time for the University level competition. Every one is expecting Vikram to win it. He too is confident of it (as you might be expecting his confidence is beyond permissible level). 30 more days for the competition. For 28 days he did nothing. Of course nothing includes – movies, games and killing time with friends. He prepared something in 2 days. Half completed and half left to luck and fate. He thought that no one would notice the glitches (This is euphemistic. Let me say what he actually thought – they should borrow Einstein’s brain to notice them). Competition started and results announced.
He’s not the topper,
Not in top 3
Not in top 5
Not in top ten.
His name is sedimented under top 25. Of course he’s eligible for consolation prize. His jealousy sandwiched between loss and loneliness drove deeper into his heart. Tears flowed down moving the creepers blinding his eyes aside for few moments. In those few moments light shone and he realized that something’s wrong.
It’s the time for year-end examinations. He worked hard sleeping only 4 hours a day. He thought- ‘I’d ace it. ’Coz I’ve worked hard’ (Again with a capitalized and much stressed ‘I’). Contrary to his expectation he failed in a subject. One who swam in the sea of success is now tasting the bitter fruits of failure. Hurt, distress, disappointment and tears surrounded him. He pondered. He travelled back in time to find out where he took the wrong step.
A phrase echoed in his heart:
‘Pride goes before destruction and haughty spirit before the fall’.
I saw another plant in his heart sprouting the leaves. I know who it is. It’ll choke and uproot the first tree. I also know that it’ll grow erect and high. It’ll make him reach higher heights. It’s called Humbleness-God’s favorite character”
The only human tread on this planet who lived exactly according to the purpose of the God is Christ Jesus
His life on earth is the perfect demonstration of obedience towards God.Bible says even though He is son,He learned obedience through suffering.(Heb 5:8)
One such example is portrayed in the John 11th chapter.
Here is Lazarus,the one whom Jesus loved,is about to die due to sickness.Even though He has the power to heal Jesus stayed where He was even after hearing the news about Lazarus’s sickness.
Even though His love provokes Him to act i.e.,to go and heal,He just obeyed the Father.For the moment,people around Him might think that He does not really love Lazarus and faith of the family at Bethany may be affected.
But having known the ultimate purpose that is to be fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Lazarus,Jesus stayed where He was.The purpose that is to be fulfilled is God has to glorified through this incident and Jesus is to be proved that He is the One to come and save this world.Lazarus is the key element in bringing glory to God in this incident.
The purpose that the God has determined and ultimate obedience of the Jesus blended to witness this fascinating miracle that is unparalleled in the history of mankind.Because Jesus raised Lazarus after four days of his cremation.
Jesus placed His faith in God and with reverent submission He performed this marvelous miracles.
Jesus demonstrated for us how to live on this earth a life that brings glory to God.
Let’s follow his footsteps.
After having saved by the power and grace of God,we’ll come to know that we,all by ourselves cannot attain the righteousness standards that the God has set before us.
Bible says that righteousness can be achieved only through faith.
We’re told in the Bible that we should walk by the Spirit and take his aid in transforming us into the sons of God.
Bible gives many facts to place trust in the God while taking the path of salvation.It provides the examples of many godly people whom did mighty things with the power of God.
Here is an example of the power of the God driven people,an aid to increase your faith.
“Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.(Judges 15:5)”
This is the account of Samson who when stirred up by the Spirit of God killed thousand men!!
I read this passage many times without pausing a moment to ponder over this great event.
What happened here is a single person with just donkey’s fresh jaw-bone and NO armor,NO sword and NO shield killed a thousand of the Philistines
This is far from human ability,power and might.In general,a human with all his armor and sword etc,can confront at-most 10 to 15 people.
This is the power of the God,who performs miracles which are far beyond human knowledge and ability.Samson’s story portrays it very clearly.
So,never have a doubt or a disbelief in placing your hand in the God’s hands and walking after Him.
Danny grabbed my hand and lead me into the garden.He would do that only when he wanted to find answers for some questions and doubts running in his mind.It’s been his style of expressing that he wanted to be alone with me. Some of his questions are difficult to answer.Sometimes difficulty is in explaining the answers to him stepping down to his age of 16.Sometimes I would have no answers for the very questions he posed.I wonder sometimes this is why Jesus said “Father,You’ve hidden these things from wise and revealed it to children”.Some of his questions are not even pondered by the theologians because we some how accustomed to accept some issues as they are.
We were walking through the garden silently.Danny broke the silence and spoke ‘Sunny,I’ve got some questions regarding your lesson today:Prayer’.I always welcomed my Sunday school children to widen their minds.I always urge them to be like the disciples from Berea who examined the scriptures to confirm the teachings of Paul and Silas.
‘Sunny,why we need to pray?’ – asked my favorite student.I took a deep breath in order gain some energy to answer this question.
‘Do you remember of the lesson I told you about the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden?’
He nodded.‘We’re not created to be omnipotent.’ I continued -‘We were designed to turn to God and cry out for Him whenever we’re in need.Whenever man was confronted by a temptation or problem he needs to turn out to God that is what we call Prayer.In the parenthesis of temptation of satan to eat the fruit and the fall of man succumbing to that temptation,there is a help line facility called ‘prayer’ for man.He might have ignored or denied it and was given into temptation.That is necessity to pray before sin came into the world.Well,you know the necessity to pray after the Fall’.His eyes said that he is satisfied with the answer.
He then asked – ‘God knows our heart. why then we need to pray? why not God satisfy our heart desires and sanction our needs all by Himself before we ask?why we need to ask??’
I then smiled and memories from my past flashed into my mind.I asked same question to my Father when I was of Danny’s age.
‘Danny,just observe the question you’ve asked.It contains some hidden objectives.You want God to provide whatever you desire and just think of the catastrophe it’ll evoke in the world of culprits,murderers.” Danny leapt into thinking and I continued ‘After the fall of man,we became gods dictating good and evil.The motive behind this question is we want to play god dictating the One who really is the God’
He looked satisfied with the answers.We both walked towards the end of the garden and sat by the lakeside and watched the Sun went down the horizon…
This prophet is a peculiar one in the history of Israel.He has the privilege of anointing the first and best king of Israel.He is the first-born son of Elkanah and Hannah.He is Samuel.
I’d like to present two characteristics from the life of this man of God,whom the God has chosen to deliver His people of Israel from the hands of Philistines.
I love the very opening lines about Samuel about what he did when he was a kid of 2 or 3 years.When his mother presented him to the God ‘He worshiped the God there’ (1 Sam 1:28).Worshiping God at such a younger age is always a fascinating act and its credit should be ascribed to the women from Ramah,Hannah.
First character I’d like to present is the acceptance of his calling.He left his father and mother and served at the temple of God at age below 5 yrs.If he were to live today our modern society would have suggested him to lodge a complaint on his parents.But see how his obedience and his mother’s teaching has blended a beautiful purpose that God has designed.
Second character from this man’s life is his service.While the sons of Eli were went to defaming and blaspheming God,Samuel was serving in the temple and was growing up in the favor of both men and God.His serving heart is clearly portrayed in the 3rd chapter of 1 Samuel. When God called Samuel 3 times he went to Eli and inquired if he could help him with no hesitation and irritation.Samuel got the vision from God,which is a rarity in Israel community(in those times),at a very young age.
Let us follow the foot steps of this great man of God.
How excellent are your plans o Lord!
Before the days of our birth
Before the foundations of earth
You’ve chosen in Christ Jesus
So that we could be holy n blameless
You’ve sent Your son for us to crucify
&have risen Him from death to glorify
You’ve offered us the Spirit of promise
That our lives may be filled with eternal bliss
You’ve cleansed us from all spots n wrinkles
That we may be like stars which twinkle
Oh! The plan of eternal salvation
Has saved us from all condemnation!!
We, as humans, have termed a kind of attraction, in most cases, lustful as “love”.
So what can we name this? :
“The one who created everything on earth, from mighty oceans to micro-organisms, just from the word out of His mouth. The one before whose holiness no human can stand. One who cannot be contained by heavens or mightiest heavens. One who is praised by billions of angels as “Holy! Holy!Holy!” One who fed the six lakh people with the food from heaven n water from stone. One who divided the red sea into two streams with a dry land in the middle. One who gave the victory for his people who are in hundreds over the opponents who are in thousands in battles.
That very one clothed in human nature emptying himself descended from heaven. He was persecuted brutally and died a shameful death on the cross for the sake of the rebellious, disobedient, thankless, annoying, often complaining n unlawful human race.”
So what can we name this??? Is this not “True Love?”
“ For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Realise His love towards us!..